Writer • Producer
Praised for her relatable, charmingly funny but often bitingly satirical shows, Emily Kapnek parlayed a Nickelodeon pilot competition win into a fruitful career as a well-respected writer, producer and showrunner. After cutting her teeth on animated shows on ABC and Nickelodeon and live-action sitcoms for HBO and NBC, she reached network success as the creator of "Suburgatory" (ABC 2011-14) and "Selfie" (ABC 2014-). Born on March 27, 1972 and raised in New York City, Kapnek entered the industry in the late '90s, taking up writing gigs on "Hercules: The Animated Series" (ABC 1998-99), spun off from the 1997 Disney film, and "Rocket Power" (Nickelodeon 1999-2004). Her big break came at age 25 when she submitted a pilot script for a contest run by Klasky-Csupo (creators of "Rugrats" and "The Wild Thornberrys"), resulting in her winning first place. The junior high-set show "As Told By Ginger" (Nickelodeon 2000-06), ran for 60 episodes, with Kapnek acting not only as writer but also executive producer, theme song composer and vocal talent. Kapnek netted three Emmy Award nominations for her efforts. Shifting her focus to live-action comedy, Kapnek created the Heather Graham vehicle "Emily's Reasons Why Not" (ABC 2006) -- which famously was canceled after its pilot episode aired -- before moving on with writing and consulting producer roles on "Aliens in America" (The CW, 2007-08), "Hung" (HBO, 2009-2011), and "Parks and Recreation" (NBC, 2009-2015). During those stints, she studied how to successfully helm one's own show, citing "Parks & Rec" co-creator Mike Schur as a major inspiration. In 2011, Kapnek at last created a successful sitcom with "Suburgatory," starring Jane Levy, Jeremy Sisto, Cheryl Hines and Ana Gastayer. The witty, likeable satire about a big city teen and her single father who relocate to the suburbs drew upon her own experiences growing up, and received nearly 10 million viewers for its pilot episode as well as high praise for its laugh-per-minute ratio and perfect casting. Lasting three seasons, "Suburgatory" was canceled in 2014. Kapnek immediately moved on to another show she created, the social media satire "Selfie," a modern-day spin on George Bernard Shaw's "Pygmalion" starring Karen Gillan and John Cho.