Showrunners Ilene Chaiken & Michelle Ashford

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In this special edition of The Spin-off, we're bringing you a conversation with showrunners Ilene Chaiken and Michelle Ashford, recorded earlier this year at the National Association of Television Program Executives, an annual conference that takes place in Miami.

Chaiken created the Showtime drama The L Word. Now she is a writer and executive producer on the Fox mega-hit Empire. The hip hop soap opera about the Lyons family and their record label recently came roaring back with a ratings bang.

Ashford is also a television writer and executive producer. She developed the Showtime drama Masters of Sex, which returns for its fourth season later this year.

These are only their most recent projects -- both women have worked in television for more than 20 years. So when we sat down at NATPE we started...where else? At the beginning.

Photo: (L-R) Michael Schneider with executive producers Michelle Ashford from Masters of Sex and Ilene Chaiken from Empire at the National Association of Television Program Executives gathering.




Kaitlin Parker