×

Chris Provenzano: Writer feels ‘Justified’ to branch out

10 TV Scribes to Watch

Chris Provenzano has written for “Mad Men” (season one, including the WGA Award-nominated episode “The Hobo Code”) and “Justified” (seasons one and two). Significantly, however, he also spent time early in his career on the other side of the creative-business divide, working on network promos, including at CNBC and ABC.

“Sometimes you hear the glib phrase, ‘What’s the poster?’ and I get that in a sense because promotions is all about breaking something down to its essential parts,” Provenzano says. “How do you put across a complicated idea in a simple, direct way?”

He finds it useful to think back to his days in promotions when pitching ideas.

“I do think about ‘how do I sell it so they get it and want to know more,’ ” he says. “That’s the whole drive of a 30-second promo.”

Provenzano, 37, landed his first writing gig on “Talk Soup” in summer 2001 after doing on-air promotions for E! He went on to write for NBC’s short-lived “Heist.”

“I hadn’t been a writers room assistant or a script coordinator, and there I was sitting in the writers room watching the adults build the show,” he says. “It was traumatic, but I had a tough skin and I could talk their language and I made them crack up. That sort of saved my skin.”

He wrote the script that would become the 2009 film “Get Low” before landing on “Mad Men.” Now Provenzano is ready to move on, choosing to leave “Justified” before season three begins.

“I have the wind at my back a little with ‘Get Low’ and the success of ‘Justified,’?” he says. “I’ve been fortunate to accumulate a good string of credentials. I’m proud of that, and now we’ll see what happens.”

10 TV SCRIBES TO WATCH
Rising writers take biggest step
Alex Cary | Whitney Cummings | Lena Dunham | John Enbom | David Hudgins | Rolin Jones | Kyle Killen | Chris Provenzano | Emily Spivey | Hilary Winston

More TV

  • Spanish Director Dani De La Torre

    Movistar+ Announces Ambitious Original Series ‘La Unidad’

    MELILLA, Spain — Spain’s pay TV leader Movistar+ has announced its newest original series, the anti-terrorist police drama-thriller series “La Unidad,” which started filming last week in the small autonomous Spanish community of Melilla, located on the Moroccan coast. One of the biggest international plays to date for Movistar +, the pay TV/SVOD unit of [...]

  • Visitors arrive at the Hudson Yards

    AT&T Sells WarnerMedia Hudson Yards Space to Pay Down Debt

    AT&T has cut a deal to sell and lease back its WarnerMedia office space in New York’s glitzy Hudson Yards development for $2.2 billion to help pare down its enormous debt load. AT&T said Tuesday it has set a deal to sell its office space at 30 Hudson Yards to an affiliate of Related Companies, [...]

  • Japanese actor Ken Watanabe poses on

    Ken Watanabe to Star in Japan Edition of 'The Fugitive'

    Warner Bros. International Television Production and Japan’s TV Asahi network are teaming to remake “The Fugitive” as a special program that celebrates TV Asahi’s 60th anniversary. Ken Watanabe (“The Last Samurai,” “Godzilla,” “Inception”) will star in the title role made famous by David Janssen in the 1963-1967 U.S. TV series and then by Harrison Ford [...]

  • black lgbtq actors hollywood representation

    TV Roundup: 'Pose' Season 2 Premiere Date Pushed Back on FX

    In today’s roundup, “Pose” gets a new Season 2 premiere date and Sara Gilbert is set to play a recurring role on Season 3 of Netflix’s “Atypical.” FIRST LOOK The TV Academy has unveiled the key art for the 71st Emmy Awards. The new design, which will be used across platforms including the Emmy’s website, [...]

  • James Holzhauer Jeopardy

    Why James Holzhauer Is Bad for 'Jeopardy!' (Column)

    James Holzhauer, who is closing in on a million dollars of game-show winnings, is on track to become the most successful “Jeopardy!” contestant of all time. And he’s become such a dominant force that a historic run has come to seem, as television, boring. Over the course of thirteen episodes and counting, Holzhauer’s methods and [...]

  • Joe Ianniello

    CBS Suspends CEO Search, Extends Ianniello in Role Through 2019

    CBS Corp. said it would suspend the months-long search it has conducted for a new leader for the company since the departure of Leslie Moonves and would instead extend the tenure of its acting chief, Joseph Ianniello, through the end of 2019. “Joe has demonstrated exceptional leadership during this time of unprecedented transition at CBS. [...]

  • Wanda Sykes Silicon Valleywood

    Wanda Sykes on Doing Business With Netflix: 'They Moved That Comma'

    MENLO PARK, Calif. — Wanda Sykes wears a lot of hats as a comedian, writer, producer and entrepreneur, and that gives her a keen sense of the ever-growing content marketplace. She also has a very clear understanding of what she’s worth in dollars and cents, as she shared Tuesday in her Q&A at Variety’s Silicon [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content