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Pushing Daisies screenwriter living Hollywood fairytale

Ad for ABC show Pushing DaisiesJim Gray is living a story straight out of Hollywood.

Gray (BA communication and psychology ’03) is a staff writer for ABC’s new comedy/drama Pushing Daisies, which is about a kind young man with the ability to make dead things live again.

After graduation Gray went to Los Angeles, where he figured he’d wait tables while hunting for a writing gig. Instead, he went weeks
without work, living off credit cards.

Finally, he got a job as low-level assistant on a reality show, but in 10 weeks it was over.

A few months later, he got a job as an assistant on the CBS’ drama Crossing Jordan. Gray submitted a script for a Jordan episode; it was
accepted. He got a writing credit for an episode last spring and an offer to come back as a full-time writer for the 2007–08 season.

Then the show was canceled, and Gray was out of a job. Again.

Almost immediately, Executive Producer Bryan Fuller offered him a job as a writer’s assistant on Pushing Daisies.

He started out mostly taking notes, but when he was asked make a rough draft episode, Fuller liked what he saw. Challenged to do it again, on an even tighter deadline, Gray turned out another script.

“I came into work one morning in June, and the producers ask me to come into the office. I’m thinking ‘Hey, maybe a better parking place?’” Gray says.

Even better, a staff writing position. That, Gray says, just never happens.

“I have friends who have been assistants for 15 years,” he says. “This is unbelievable.”


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