With Spotlight on Writer Partner: Danielle Sanchez-Witzel”
If you liked My Name Is Earl and Raising Hope, brace yourself because Emmy Award-winning director and show creator Greg Garcia has set up two half-hour sitcoms at CBS. One is a single-camera comedy, which he is writing, and a hybrid titled Capturing Crazy that Danielle Sanchez-Witzel is writing.
While details about Garcia’s projects are not being released, one can only assume that they’ll be in the style of Garcia’s previous shows… where he combines quirky comedy, memorable characters, relatable themes and a whole lot of corazon. Garcia will be writing and executive producing.
Capturing Crazy is about a woman in her mid-20s who turns her documentary camera on her own family to prove once and for all that they’re crazy. Sanchez-Witzel is writing and will executive produce with Garcia. This is not the first time she teams with Garcia. In fact, Sanchez-Witzel got her break on Garcia’s NBC comedy My Name Is Earl, which she joined right after the pilot and stayed for its entire four-season run, moving up the ranks to co-executive producer.
While the spotlight is on Garcia for making this CBS TV deal, we find Danielle Sanchez-Witzel is a rising star to keep an eye on. She signed a two-year overall deal with CBS TV Studies, purely for development and will also consult on CBS Studios series part-time. This is a huge change of scenery since she spent the last nine years at NBC. Sanchez-Witzel came out of NBC’s diversity writing program, becoming one of the program’s biggest success stories.
The Sanford and UCLA graduate Sanchez-Witzel was once asked in an interview how her education helped her career development. “I think it’s really important to leave all your options open and not to put a definite timeline on yourself. When I was at Stanford, the thought of being a comedy writer never crossed my mind. But, I knew where my strengths and interests lied, and I made sure to give myself a good foundation through my studies to someday find a job I loved. The span of time from my freshman year at Stanford to deciding I wanted to be a comedy writer was eight years, but I was well served allowing myself the time to figure it out,” she said
Garcia is represented by CAA and UTA represents Sanchez-Witzel when they signed overall deals at CBS Studios in the spring after long stints at other studios, 20th TV and Universal TV, respectively. Garcia’s four-year deal allows him to continue as showrunner on Raising Hope for one more season while developing. In addition, the Garcia pact is the biggest CBS TV Studios has signed with a comedy showrunner.
The two projects are bringing him back at CBS where he co-created Yes, Dear. CBS’ decision to go with a single-camera comedy project from its sister studio’s top comedy writer-producer underlines the network’s commitment to the filmed comedy form, which has been absent from the network for four seasons.