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Jun 30, 2020


The creator, executive producer, and showrunner of the award-winning TV series The Handmaid’s Tale, Bruce Miller, spoke with me about his storied career as a TV writer/producer, what it's like to work with author Margaret Atwood, and adapting a modern classic for the small screen.

The Emmy award-winning TV writer and producer has worked on dozens of shows and movies (including Medium, Eureka, Alphas, and The 100), and got his start working on NBC's long-running hit ER in the early '90s.

Miller's adaptation of Margaret Atwood's prescient, critically acclaimed 1985 novel, The Handmaid’s Tale – considered by many to be a modern classic of dystopian literature – is a drama about a "... totalitarian society [that] subjects fertile women, called 'Handmaids,' into child-bearing slavery."

In its first season, the show won multiple Emmy awards – including Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series for Miller – and became the first on a streaming platform to win an Emmy for Outstanding Series (beating out nominees House of Cards, The Crown, Stranger Things from Netflix, HBO’s Westworld, AMC’s Better Call Saul, and NBC’s This Is Us).

"Handmaid’s” has gone on to win the Peabody Award; a Golden Globe for Best Television Series, Drama; Critics Choice Award for Best Drama Series; the PGA Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Drama; two WGA Awards, for Best Drama Series and Best New Series; was honored by AFI as one of the top ten TV programs of the year, and garnered dozens of Emmy nominations.

The show has been picked up for a fourth season by Hulu.

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In this file Bruce Miller and I discussed:

  • How getting "fired" from so many gigs helped his career
  • The brilliance of Margaret Atwood and the influence it had on both the writer and the adaptation
  • Why TV production is all about schedule and writing is the opposite
  • A day in the life of a TV writer
  • Why he doesn't believe in tables in the writer's room
  • And the one thing you have to be able to do when you get your big break

Show Notes:


Anti-racism Resources

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