Melissa Rosenberg

Melissa Anne Rosenberg is an American television writer, television producer, and screenwriter. She has worked in both film and television and has won a Peabody Award. She has also been nominated for two Emmy Awards, and two Writers Guild of America Awards. Since joining the Writers Guild of America, she has been involved in its board of directors and was a strike captain during the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike. She supports female screenwriters through the WGA Diversity Committee and co-founded the League of Hollywood Women Writers.

Melissa Rosenberg
Melissa Rosenberg posed.jpg
BornMelissa Anne Rosenberg
Marin County, California, U.S.
OccupationTelevision writer, television producer, screenwriter
Alma materBennington College
University of Southern California
(m. 1995)

She worked on several television series between 1993 and 2003 before joining The O.C.'s writing staff, eventually leaving the show to write the 2006 film Step Up. From 2006 to 2009, she served as the head writer of the Showtime series Dexter, rising to executive producer by the time that she departed at the end of the fourth season. She wrote her second produced screenplay, the 2008 film adaptation of Stephenie Meyer's novel Twilight in 2007, and then adapted the novel's three sequels.

Rosenberg is also widely known as the creator of the Netflix series Jessica Jones.

Early lifeEdit

Rosenberg was born in Marin County, California.[1] Her father is Jack Lee Rosenberg, a psychotherapist and the founder of integrative body psychotherapy. Her mother was Patricia Rosenberg, a lawyer. She was the second of four children by her father's first marriage. Melissa's brother, Steven, owns a flower shop in Manhattan.[2] Rosenberg's father was Jewish[3][4] and her mother was of Irish Catholic background.[5]

As a child, Rosenberg enjoyed presenting plays and recruiting other neighborhood children to perform in them.[2] She attended a "massive public high school with a crowd of people bunched in a classroom and expected to learn" in Southern California. She later moved to New York City to join a small theatre company before moving again to Bennington, Vermont to attend Bennington College.[6] She originally aspired to work in Dance and Choreography. She says she began too late, however, so she moved to Los Angeles, California to pursue a career in the film industry instead. She graduated from the University of Southern California's (USC) Peter Stark Producing Program with a Master of Fine Arts degree in film and television producing.[1][6]


Rosenberg's first project was a dance film commissioned by Paramount Pictures that was ultimately never made.[1] She then shifted to television writing. She first wrote for Class of '96 in 1993, and went on to work on shows including Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman (1995–1996), Dark Skies (1996), The Magnificent Seven (1998), Ally McBeal (2001) and Birds of Prey (2002) before she came to join the writing staff of The O.C. in 2003. Leaving The O.C. at the conclusion of its first season, she was hired to write her second screenplay, the 2006 dance film Step Up.[7] (Later, she was also offered the job of writing the sequel, Step Up 2: The Streets, but turned the offer down as she was busy with other projects.)[8]

Rosenberg went on to write for the television series Love Monkey (2006) and Dexter (2006–2010). Her job on the Showtime series was her first on a show written for cable—she stated in 2007, "Cable is the place to be ... it's just wonderful."[9] Rosenberg initially worked as a consulting producer and writer on the first season. She and the other members of the Dexter writing staff were nominated for a Writers Guild of America Award for best Dramatic Series at the February 2008 ceremony for their work on the first season.[10][11] She gained a staff position as co-executive producer and writer for the second season in 2007 and continued in this role for the third season in 2008. The writing staff was again nominated for the WGA award at the February 2009 ceremony for their work on the third season.[12] As part of the senior production team she was also co-nominated for the Outstanding Drama Series award at the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards.[13] She was promoted to executive producer for the fourth season in 2009 and continued to write episodes. She was nominated for the WGA award a third consecutive time at the February 2010 ceremony for her work on the fourth season of Dexter.[14]

Rosenberg at the 2016 WonderCon in Los Angeles, California.

Summit Entertainment, the production company which had produced Step Up,[15] offered Rosenberg the chance to adapt Stephenie Meyer's bestselling novel Twilight into a film of the same name, which she accepted.[7] Her primary inspiration for the adaptation was Brokeback Mountain, which she described as a "great model" of forbidden love alongside Romeo and Juliet, and thought its adaptation from short story to film was "beautiful".[16][17] She was given a "manifesto" written by Meyer outlining everything that had to be included or could not be changed in the adaptation.[15] She wrote a detailed 25-page outline in August 2007, expecting to have another two months to write the actual screenplay, but had only five weeks to finish the script before the commencement of the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike.[18] After the release of Twilight, she was hired by Summit to adapt the sequels New Moon and Eclipse, the second and third books in the series, respectively, and she had already begun drafting the New Moon screenplay by November 2008.[19][20]

In July 2010, Rosenberg left her role of writer and executive producer on Dexter, explaining that "For the past four years I've been writing Dexter and one Twilight or another." She was then working on adapting the final novel in the Twilight series, Breaking Dawn, which was split into two films, and said, "I can do one Twilight and Dexter, but I couldn't do two." She was regretful about leaving the series and called it her favorite television experience to date.[21]

Rosenberg was on the Writers Guild of America's board of directors for five years before stepping back because "you can get really, really wrapped up in it". She was very active, however, in the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike, standing on the line as a strike captain.[18] She is currently involved in the WGA Diversity Committee supporting female screenwriters, but is more active in the League of Hollywood Women Writers, which she and several other women set up while on strike, aiming to fight the "boys' club mentality" in television writing rooms.[18]

Rosenberg at the 2016 Peabody Award Ceremony

Beginning in 2010, Rosenberg had been developing a Jessica Jones TV series for ABC, which would be based on Alias comic book series by Brian Michael Bendis.[22] However, later in 2012, it was revealed that ABC had passed on the series.[23][24] In October 2013, following a deal made by Netflix and Marvel, the series was revived as a part of four series and one mini-series commitment in which Rosenberg was brought on to be the showrunner.[25] In December 2014, the series had cast Krysten Ritter as Jones and revealed the official title of the series as Marvel's A.K.A. Jessica Jones.[26] In June 2015, Marvel revealed that the title for the series would be shortened to Marvel's Jessica Jones.[27]

In August 2018, it was reported that Rosenberg had signed a deal with Warner Bros. Television and would leave Jessica Jones after season 3.[28] In February 2019, Netflix announced it was cancelling the show after three seasons.[29]

Rosenberg speaking at the 2016 Wonder con at the Los Angeles Convention center in Los Angeles, California

Personal lifeEdit

Rosenberg's mother died when Rosenberg was a teenager, after her father had remarried to Lynn MacCuish; he later married again to fellow therapist Beverly Kitaen-Morse. She has an older sister, Andrea (born 1960), younger brother and sister Erik and K. C. (twins, born 1963), and a younger half-sister, Mariya (born 1981), by her father's second wife.[2]

Rosenberg lives in Los Angeles with her husband Lev L. Spiro, a television director.[30] She joked that "At our wedding, half the attendees were shrinks, the other half, their clients," after explaining that "My sister is a dance therapist; my other sister is in graduate school to become a therapist. My husband's parents are both shrinks. His uncle, two aunts and sister are shrinks."[31]



Year Title Credit Note(s)
2006 Step Up Writer; co-wrote with Duane Adler
2008 Alyx Writer; executive producer Television film
Twilight Writer
2009 The Twilight Saga: New Moon Writer
2010 The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Writer
2011 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 Writer
2012 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 Writer


Year(s) Title Credit Note(s)
1993 Class of '96 Writer; story editor Episodes: "Midterm Madness", "The Adventures of Pat's Man and Robin"
1994 Party of Five Writer; supervising producer
1995–1996 Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman Writer Episodes: "One Touch of Nature", "If You Love Someone...", "Reunion"
1996 The Outer Limits Writer Episode: "The Sentence"
Dark Skies Writer; story editor
1996–1997 Hercules: The Legendary Journeys Writer Episodes: "Mummy Dearest", "Beanstalks and Bad Eggs"
1998 The Magnificent Seven Writer; co-producer Episodes: "Working Girls", "Witness"
2000 Boston Public Consulting producer Episode: "Chapter Two"
2001 Ally McBeal Writer Episode: "Hats Off to Larry"
The Agency Writer; consulting producer
2002 Birds of Prey Writer; consulting producer Episodes: "Slick", "Sins of the Mother", "Nature of the Beast"
2003–2004 The O.C. Writer; co-executive producer Episodes: "The Outsider", "The Rescue", "The Third Wheel"
2006 Love Monkey Writer; co-executive producer Episodes: "Confidence", "Coming Out"
2006–2009 Dexter Writer; executive producer 8 episodes; one Emmy Award nomination; two WGA Award nominations
2013 Red Widow Creator; writer; executive producer Episodes: "Pilot", "The Contact"
2015–2019 Jessica Jones Creator; showrunner; executive producer; writer

Awards and NominationsEdit

Primetime Emmy AwardsEdit

Year Nomination/Win Category
2010 Nomination (Outstanding Drama Series) Dexter
2009 Nomination (Outstanding Drama Series) Dexter
2008 Nomination (Outstanding Drama Series) Dexter

Gold Derby/ Gotham/ Hugo AwardsEdit

Year Nomination/Win Category
2016 (Hugo) Win (Best Dramatic Presentation) Jessica Jones
2016 (Gotham) Nomination (Breakthrough Series) Jessica Jones
2010 (Gold) Nomination (Best Drama) Dexter

Writers Guild of AmericaEdit

Year Nomination/Win Category
2011 Nomination (Drama Series) Dexter
2010 Nomination (Drama Series) Dexter
2009 Nomination (Dramatic Series) Dexter
2008 Nomination (Dramatic Series) Dexter

PGA AwardsEdit

Year Nomination/Win Category
2010 Nomination (Outstanding Producer on Episodic Television, Drama) Dexter



  1. ^ a b c Dawes, Amy (November–December 2008). "The XX Factor". Creative Screenwriting Magazine.
  2. ^ a b c Itten, Theodor (2002). Fischer, Martin (ed.). Jack Lee Rosenberg: Celebrating a Master Psychotherapist. Itten Books. ISBN 3-9522485-0-9.
  3. ^ Fermaglich, Kirsten Lise (2018). A Rosenberg by any other name : a history of Jewish name changing in America. New York: NYU Press. ISBN 978-1-4798-8719-4.
  4. ^ "ROSENBERG Origin of Surname". Retrieved 1 March 2021.
  5. ^ Berrin, Danielle (Nov 12, 2009). "Jewish Screenwriter Pens 'Kosher' Vampires for 'Twilight'". Cleveland Jewish News. Her father, Jack Lee Rosenberg, is a prominent psychotherapist; her mother, Patricia, who was raised Irish Catholic, died when the future screenwriter was a teenager
  6. ^ a b "Screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg '86 crafts sharp characters for film and TV". Bennington College. Archived from the original on 2010-05-27. Retrieved 2008-09-08.
  7. ^ a b "The Twilight Lexicon's interview with Melissa Rosenberg" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-09-08.
  8. ^ Ryan, Rotten (August 19, 2008). "Exclusive Interview: Twilight's Melissa Rosenberg". Archived from the original on 2008-10-13. Retrieved 2008-09-08.
  9. ^ Douglas, Pamela (2007). Writing the TV Drama Series: How to Succeed as a Professional Writer in TV (2nd ed.). California, United States: Michael Wiese Productions. pp. 127–130. ISBN 978-1-932907-34-6.
  10. ^ "2008 Writers Guild Awards Television & Radio Nominees Announced" (Press release). Writers Guild of America, west. December 12, 2007. Archived from the original on December 19, 2007. Retrieved 2008-09-08.
  11. ^ Perry, Byron (December 12, 2007). "WGA announce TV, radio nominees". Variety. Retrieved 2008-09-08.
  12. ^ "2009 Writers Guild Awards Television, Radio, News, Promotional Writing, and Graphic Animation Nominees Announced" (Press release). Writers Guild of America, west. 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-12-12. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
  13. ^ "2007–2008 Primetime Emmy Awards Nominations" (PDF) (Press release). Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. July 18, 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-06.
  14. ^ Gregg Mitchell & Sherry Goldman (2009). "2010 Writers Guild Awards Television, Radio, News, Promotional Writing, and Graphic Animation Nominees Announced". Writers Guild of America. Archived from the original on 2013-10-19. Retrieved 2010-04-30.
  15. ^ a b Martin, Denise (November 13, 2008). "'Twilight' Countdown: Melissa Rosenberg defends 'Breaking Dawn'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2008-11-14.
  16. ^ Carroll, Larry (September 16, 2008). "'Twilight' Tuesday: Screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg Was Inspired By 'Brokeback Mountain'". MTV News. Retrieved 2008-10-12.
  17. ^ Gnerre, Andrew (November 14, 2008). "Melissa Rosenberg Takes a Bite Out of Twilight". MovieMaker. Archived from the original on September 7, 2012. Retrieved 2008-11-15.
  18. ^ a b c Charaipotra, Sona (September 16, 2007). "Exclusive Interview: 'Twilight' Screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg". Premiere. Archived from the original on October 23, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
  19. ^ Zeitchik, Steven (November 14, 2008). "'Twilight' film franchise looks ahead". The Hollywood Reporter.
  20. ^ Sperling, Nicole (November 6, 2008). "'Twilight': Will the Movie Be a Hit?". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2008-11-07.
  21. ^ Callaghan, Dylan (July 2, 2010). "Work Hard, Twihard". Writers Guild of America, West. Archived from the original on November 30, 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-07.
  22. ^ Schneider, Micheak (December 17, 2010). "Screenwriter Sets Marvel Adaptation for TV". Variety. Archived from the original on February 6, 2014. Retrieved December 17, 2010.
  23. ^ Molloy, Tim (May 15, 2012). "Screenwriter Sets Marvel Adaptation for TV". The Wrap. Archived from the original on February 6, 2014. Retrieved May 15, 2012.
  24. ^ Radish, Christina (November 15, 2012). "Screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg Talks The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, ABC's Red Widow, the Status of AKA Jessica Jones, and More". Collider. Archived from the original on February 6, 2014. Retrieved February 6, 2014.
  25. ^ Lieberman, David (November 7, 2013). "Disney To Provide Netflix With Four Series Based On Marvel Characters". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on April 8, 2014. Retrieved December 6, 2014.
  26. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (December 4, 2014). "Krysten Ritter Nabs Lead In Marvel's 'Jessica Jones'". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on December 7, 2014. Retrieved November 20, 2014.
  27. ^ Jayson, Jay (June 8, 2015). "Confirmed! Marvel Drops AKA From Jessica Jones Title". Archived from the original on June 9, 2015. Retrieved June 8, 2015.
  28. ^ [1]
  29. ^ "Netflix's Marvel Cancellations Signal Start of the New Streaming World Order". The Hollywood Reporter. 19 February 2019. Retrieved 1 March 2021.
  30. ^ Wagner Apfelbach, Paula (2001). "Alumni News". University of Wisconsin–Madison. Archived from the original on 2008-12-02. Retrieved 2008-12-26.
  31. ^ Eramo, Steven (September 1997). "Dark Tales". Xposé. 1 (14): 50–53.
  32. ^ "Melissa Rosenberg". IMDb. Retrieved 2019-05-05.

External linksEdit