Jen Grisanti • September 20, 2015
Honored by Entertainment Weekly in 2011 as one of the Top 20 People Behind the Scenes, Nikki Toscano is currently a Consulting Producer on NBC’s SHADE OF BLUE. Her first break came when she won a number of contests, Slamdance and Scriptapalooza among them. Using the heat off the contests, she managed to sell an pilot idea to CBS/Paramount based on her life (she adopted a twelve-year-old boy from a children’s home when she was 26), which segued into a staff writer gig on CLOSE TO HOME. From there, she staffed on LAS VEGAS until the Writer’s Strike cut that gig short. Coming off the strike and a maternity leave, she couldn’t get staffed to save her life. But it was a blessing in disguise as she was able to cultivate her real love: development. Nikki sold a pilot to FOX 21 that Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) attached to and then sold two other pilots that same year to CBS and ABC. On the heels of that development cycle, she was offered another blind script at ABC, but rolled it to staff on the critically acclaimed DETROIT 187. Unfortunately, Detroit never found its audience and got cancelled. She then staffed on REVENGE. Nikki is also developing a pilot for ABC this year. After REVENGE, she staffed on STATE OF AFFAIRS.
Nikki’s foray into the creative process began when she would write poems to her parents in order to get out of being grounded. This catapulted her desire to explore writing in other mediums. Before she was a screenwriter, she was a journalist writing for magazines like Nylon and Black Book. Realizing that her heart wasn’t in it, she went back to school and attended USC, getting her Masters in screenwriting and fiction.
TOPICS OF DISCUSSION
· Inspiration for story ideas
· How to have a successful pitch
· Creating longevity as a writer
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