EXCLUSIVE: Miramax has closed an overall TV deal with Emmy-nominated Nurse Jackie co-creator/executive producer/co-showrunner Liz Brixius. Under the multi-year pact, Brixius will develop content for Miramax’s television operation aimed at premium cable and streaming networks.
This marks the first showrunner deal for Miramax under new head of worldwide television Marc Helwig; the company also recently inked a first-look TV deal with producer and former NBCUniversal International Studios president Michael Edelstein.
“Liz is exactly the sort of artist we want to be in business with at Miramax going forward,” Helwig said. “I consider her to be one of the most compelling and authentic storytellers of her generation. In her, we have someone who brings a really innovative point of view to everything she does; she is both a fresh and highly experienced voice coming into the fold.”
At Miramax, Brixius “will help us as we look for ways to reenergize the library and do interesting TV series reboots based on the treasure chest of IP that’s there,” and she will also develop her original ideas, something she has already started to do, Helwig added. “I feel that she is going to be a significant engine for us.”
Brixius’ first TV job was co-creating the Showtime half-hour comedy-drama Nurse Jackie, starring Edie Falco, which she executive produced and co-showran for the first four seasons. She then segued to three consecutive overall deals at Universal Television. After eight years focused on broadcast series, Brixius said she was ready to return to her creative roots in premium television.
“As great as everybody was and as excited about creative storytelling as everybody was, It’s kind of restrictive for somebody like me,” she said about working in broadcast after getting her start on Nurse Jackie. “I grew up in a world without ad breaks; I grew up in a world of complicated, flawed, potentially unlikeable main character and found the format of broadcast television really challenging. Not that I couldn’t do it, it’s just not where I was the happiest, and I think that ultimately reflected in the work. My natural pace is to start running through the interior life of, for example, a drug addict, or things that are not as structured as broadcast TV is. My structure is dictated by the emotional life of the characters and the way that it brushes up against what they are trying to achieve in their lives. That’s where my strengths lie and where I am the happiest as a storyteller. I shine in dark, atonal half-hour that’s funny but not haha funny, more irreverent. That kind of storytelling is more intimate and less obvious but not less valid and no less enjoyable.”
In light of that, when Brixius was approached by Miramax at the end of her most recent Universal TV deal, “my heart popped open,” she said.
“I’m beyond thrilled to be teaming up with (CEO) Bill Block and Marc Helwig, both of whom not only understand, but share my passion for innovative storytelling,” she said. “To have the opportunity to work what I know I can do well is a huge gift. Especially as the town and the world was shutting down because of COVID, it felt like such a gift that there was an opportunity that was opening up at the same for me.”
Brixius, who co-created Nurse Jackie with Linda Wallem based on a draft by Evan Dunsky, also is excited to mine the Miramax IP library.
“One of the things that I am really good at is taking an existing piece of material and reshaping it and reframing it, so the Idea of having a source material to draw on or build out is incredibly attractive to me.”
Brixius’ writing/producing credits under the Universal TV deal include stints on NBC’s Chicago Med and Go On. In features, she co-wrote the Katherine Heigl movie One For The Money, directed by Julie Anne Robinson.
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