Who Is Marta Kauffman? The 'Grace & Frankie' Creator Is Already In Your Netflix Queue
Grace & Frankie, the anticipated Netflix series that debuts Friday, already has a killer cast with Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Martin Sheen, and Sam Waterston. What about the creator of Grace & Frankie , Marta Kauffman? She created the show alongside Howard J. Morris, who worked as a writer for Home Improvement and According to Jim. The series centers on the two leading female characters, who are forced to become closer when their husbands reveal that they are both gay, they have been having an affair with one another, and want to get married.
Besides having an experienced female producer at the helm, and focusing on the evever hot topic of aging female actors, the show also boasts a writer's room with as many women as most rooms have men. Fantastic!
So, how do you know Marta Kauffman? Showrunners have been getting more and more popular and recognizable these days. Kauffman belongs on the list with Shonda Rhimes, Jengi Kohan and Nahnatchka Khan not only because she's a talented producer but because she's been doing this for ages. If you frequently use Netflix, I have a hunch that she's already been on your radar this year.
Like I said, if your apartment is anything like mine, you've seen Marta Kauffman's name over 100 times because she created Friends with David Crane. Googling her name gets you about a thousand results about the prospect of a Friends cast reunion which is never going to happen.
Not only is she responsible for an iconic American sitcom, but she's also a woman not to be trifled with. In an interview, Deadline tells a story about how Kauffman once went to a Friends press tour where most journalists asked very expected questions, but two reporters went off the beaten path. Kauffman, being the awesome woman she is, rewarded them with tickets to a taping of the Friends finale. How rad is that?
However, don't expect this show to be exactly like Kauffman's biggest hit, either. The material should stand apart and on its own. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Kaufmann talked about what it was like to take on a new project with the pressure of Friends' history looming over her.
It wasn't easy.... knew that I wasn't going to do more multicamera. I knew that was not going to be for me anymore. Convincing other people that I could do other things took a little while longer and then when we go to doing this. At a certain point, I just had to say, "Do your best. Just do your best. Do the show that you're proud of, and you have no control over what people say about it." And that's what I tried to do with a show that I felt good about, that I would want to watch, that I'm proud to tell my friends and my family, "Check this out, I think you'll like it. I think you'll have fun. I think you'll feel something. You might even feel some joy." The pressure is inherent in this situation, but there's not much I can do about it because Friends was not just me. It was me and David Crane and Kevin Bright and all the other writers on that show. And it was of a time with a certain cast. And the time is different. I'm different.
My prediction? Your recent Netflix binge watch of Friends may make it easy to recognize Marta Kauffman's comedic voice in Grace & Frankie, but the subject, cast and time that we live in how will make it a rich new experience for everyone!
Marta Kauffman and David Crane's second project was Veronica's Closet , a sitcom about the lingerie business that starred Kirstie Alley. The two also created the cult sitcom Dream On. On her own, Marta Kauffman created the Lifetime short film anthology Five that showcased many writing talents. She produced several documentaries on a variety of subjects as well. With a resume that rich, I can't wait to see what's next with Grace & Frankie!