Written by Great Books on Thursday, June 19, 2014
Before Nell Scovell co-wrote the recent New York Times bestseller Lean In with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg (and the new version that just came out in April, Lean In For Graduates) , she was the first staff writer hired by Spy Magazine, created the long-running television series "Sabrina, The Teen Witch," and wrote an episode of "The Simpsons" in addition to other television shows, including "Newhart," "Charmed," and "Murphy Brown," to name a few.
This summer, Nell will be coming to Stanford to speak to campers about her storied career as a television and magazine writer. Twenty-seven years ago, when Nell was just getting her start in TV writing, she was hired to work on a late-night talk show called "The Wilton North Report." A precursor to shows like "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," the show was a mixture of news, talk, and variety. What Nell didn't realize when she took the job and relocated from New York to Hollywood was that the show would be short-lived. In this piece , Nell reflects on those days of writing the show (and her famous co-writers) and how a show can be so great and yet still not catch on. The mystery of television? Perhaps.