Promise of Your Premise w/ Lifetime VP, Kimberly Chessler Itskowitch (ISA Sponsored)

Posted: Nov 30, 2015 Hosted By: Max Timm Guest: Kimberly Chessler itskowitch

On this episode of Curious About Screenwriting, we switch focus a bit in this interview and bring on Kimberly Chessler Itskowitch. Kim is the VP of Non-Fiction Programming at Lifetime and is responsible for developing and overseeing production of non-fiction projects for the network. To give a brief background of her extensive experience and career, Chessler joined Lifetime in 2010 as Senior Director of Reality Programming and has been responsible for overseeing the development and production of the network's hit docusoap Dance Moms, starring Abby Lee Miller. Other projects under her purview include the all-new docuseries The Jacksons: Next Generation, and Atlanta Plastic, which reveals the changing face of plastic surgery by following three of Atlanta's top surgeons and their clients. Prior to Lifetime, Chessler was at Oxygen for ten years, during which she held numerous positions, ranging from Manager of Development to Director of Production.

We as writers and filmmakers are repeatedly reminded that in all of the work that we produce, we need to focus on what's authentic to the story. Kim's insights on how Lifetime has a mantra of "stick to the series promise" rings true in all forms of entertainment, really. While reality TV is an un-scripted process, there is still a creative hook that needs to be adhered to, and without it, your show won't grip your viewers as much as it needs to. Kim and I dive into the behind-the-scenes of the reality TV world - how a show is created from concept to screen. It's a side of the industry so many of us don't necessarily know or understand, and Kim helps enlighten us on just how a reality series is brought to life.

A very big thank you to Kim for jumping on the line with us in the midst of a holiday week, and of course thank you for being a major factor in the success of this podcast series. Without our listeners, we wouldn't be able to present such fascinating material. Remember to share these interviews with your friends, rate us on iTunes, and to stay tuned to all things ISA by visiting our website, We're here to help you and your creative pursuits in whatever way possible. Enjoy the interview and thanks for listening.