Family & Companions
The female half of the TV wonder-sitcom-producing company, Carsey-Werner, Marcy Carsey began in story editing and eventually made it to the senior executive level at ABC before teaming up with Tom Werner in the early 1980s. Although most of the duo's series have relied on solid, established comedy talents including Bill Cosby, Madeline Kahn, Jonathan Winters, Michael McKean, Jackie Mason and Roseanne, Carsey and Werner have shown a flair for sympathetic, creative showcasing and workable formats featuring enjoyable variations on genre conventions. Although Roseanne had a healthy following and a set comic persona before the advent of her ABC sitcom "Roseanne," the series might not have succeeded as well as it did without the support system built around the show's star; to a lesser degree the same might have applied to the African-American revamp of "Father Knows Best" for the 80s, "The Cosby Show" (NBC). "A Different World" (NBC), meanwhile, enjoyed considerable popularity and a lengthy run by virtue of the largely untested talent which gave it energy. Even Carsey-Werner's less successful shows ("Oh Madeline," "Davis Rules"), outright misfires ("Chicken Soup"), and occasionally bland derivatives ("You Bet Your Life") had qualities to recommend them, with the result that the Carsey-Werner company has achieved considerable pull and a lively production slate filling obligations for all three major networks.
Networks continued to consider their touch golden well into the nineties. "Grace Under Fire" (ABC) starred comic Brett Butler as a single mother working in an oil refinery and helped propel ABC to ratings supremacy during the 1994-1995 season. Also in 1995, CBS premiered "Cybill," starring Cybill Shepherd as a sometime working actress coping with two ex-husbands, two daughters, and a lush divorcee friend portrayed by Christine Baranski, who could twirl a riposte with an aplomb not seen on TV since Eve Arden. The same year, Carsey-Werner signed an agreement with Bill Cosby to produce a new sitcom starring Cosby, this time for CBS. The project was based on the British sitcom "One Foot in the Grave."
In 1996, Carsey-Werner teamed Jane Curtin and John Lithgow for NBC's "3rd Rock From the Sun," a sitcom about aliens living in Chicago and researching the habits of earthlings. For the 1996-997 season, in addition to "Cosby," Carsey-Werner placed two other series: "Men Behaving Badly" (NBC), about a two couples (Anna Gunn, Ron Eldard, Justine Bateman and Rob Schneider) and "Townies" (ABC), which marked the series debut of Molly Ringwald, although neither really enjoyed breakout success. Reuniting with the creative team behind "3rd Rock" (Bonnie and Terry Turner), Carsey-Werner returned to the winner's column with the highly-praised "That '70s Show" (Fox, 1998-2006), a nostalgic look at life in the Midwest set in the days of disco.
Carsey-Werner established its own syndication division in the mid-90s and announced plans to produce a new version of "What's My Line?" but the plans fell through when it turned out that All-American TV and not the company from which Carsey-Werner had bought the rights controlled the property. But the embarrassment of the latter hardly mattered. Thanks to lucrative (and ground-breaking) syndication revenues, Carsey was said to be worth well in excess of $200 million. Despite owning several homes, she was not one to let fame and fortune go to her head. At one Emmy ceremony, the nervous nominee queried a TV reporter if he thought she was going to win. The reporter respectively said "No." "Good," replied Carsey. "I'm wearing the same dress I wore to the ceremony last year."
Producer (Feature Film)
Executive story editor for Tomorrow Entertainment, Los Angeles
Joined ABC as comedy progamming executive
Founded Carsey Productions
Co-owner and co-chair (with Tom Werner) of the Carsey-Werner Company
Co-executive produced the short-lived sitcom, "Chicken Soup", starring Jackie Mason and Lynn Redgrave
Co-executive produced the serialized comedy, "Grand"
Co-executive produced the short-lived sitcom, "Frannie's Turn"
Co-executive produced a new version of the old game show, "You Bet Your Life", starring Bill Cosby
Disclosed new pact with Bill Cosby to produce a CBS sitcom starring the comic actor
Was an executive producer of the failed Fox sitcom "Damon"
Returned to the winner's column as one of the executive producers of "That '70s Show" (Fox)
Announced joint plans with Geraldine Laybourne's Oxygen Media to launch cable TV network aimed at women (October), joined by Oprah Winfrey in November