I have to admit for a long time I was very naive about how TV shows get made. As an actor that’s really something I should have known and understood from the beginning. I feel like it would have alleviated a lot of the “why didn’t they pick me??” moments after auditions. Thankfully I’m all caught up now and can thoughtfully talk to experts like my guest Lisa Sterbakov. She is a partner at Orchard Farm Productions along with Mila Kunis, Cami Curtis and Susan Curtis.

Orchard Farm Production developed “Trapped” with Rob Zombie for the Starz Network

 

Lisa shared her story with me in her office on the Disney lot. She told me Orchard Farm Productions has developed and sold 12 shows including Hunted and Trapped since it started in 2015. That’s an incredible accomplishment for a new production company. And I think it’s even more fantastic because everyone at the helm of that ship is a woman. An all female led production company is virtually unheard of in Hollywood so I wanted to dig in a bit to her story and find out how this group came together. She explains that her husband was actually friends with Mila from back when she was on That 70’s Show and they have now been friends for years.

Lisa Sterbakov, Partner at Orchard Farm Productions

I also talked to her about how they find projects, what goes into developing a new show with new verses established writers and what her typical day is like. For Lisa it begins with making lunches and school drop off because she’s a mom of two. She was very honest about her feelings on going back to work versus being a stay at home mom. And although she’s around celebrities in her job, she has an incredibly grounded perspective on parenting in showbiz. She attributes that to the fact that there are moms running the company. And while there are still some long work days, the hours can and should be more family friendly than in film production. She’s also very funny and self-depreciating which I am completely on board with.

 

It was interesting to hear her talk about trends in TV development. It people like Lisa and her team that can influence the public lexicon by choosing the right kind of show. We talked about The Handmaid’s Tale as a perfect example of that. While ultimately rewarding, developing a new TV show is a huge gamble for a production company and studio so that’s why they’re so picky about who they work with and what material. There’s a lot of money on the line in a good TV show so they want to get it right.

We talk about all of this and so much more and I don’t want to spill it all here! Listen to this episode and tell me how it changes your perspective on what goes into making TV. Lisa couldn’t reveal just yet what shows they currently have in development but you can bet we’ll be watching these ladies closely and cheering them on as they continue to make an impact on the future of scripted series.