EXCLUSIVE: Lisa Takeuchi Cullen has signed an overall deal with Universal Television. As part of the deal — her first overall pact — Cullen will develop new drama projects for the studio and serve as consulting producer on the historic 21st season of Law & Order: SVU.
“Lisa Takeuchi Cullen is a phenomenally talented writer and an inspiring collaborator,” said Universal Television’s EVP Drama Development Erin Underhill. “From the first time we developed with her, we knew she was a star and couldn’t wait to make her a part of the Universal Television family.”
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Cullen made her TV debut with a spec script that became the 2013 CBS drama pilot The Ordained, starring Charlie Cox, Audra McDonald, Hope Davis and Sam Neill. Since then, she’s developed a number of series projects for broadcast and cable including Love After Love, a drama at NBC during the 2017-18 season based on an Argentinian format, produced by Uni TV and Kapital Entertainment. Most recently, she developed the drama Ohana for ABC, executive produced by Viola Davis, and worked on an untitled Lena Dunham HBO project.
“I am honored to join the Universal team and beyond delighted to join the most diverse writing staff in the history of Law & Order: SVU. Showrunner Warren Leight has been my writing idol since his Tony-winning play Side Man,” Cullen said. “I look forward to years of hearing ‘dun dun’ in my sleep,” she added, referring to the Law & Order franchise’s signature sound effect.
A graduate of Columbia University’s journalism school, Cullen previously was a staff writer and foreign correspondent for Time magazine and has written and edited on staff for numerous publications. She is the author of the novel Pastors’ Wives (Plume/Penguin) and nonfiction book Remember Me: A Lively Tour of the New American Way of Death (HarperCollins).
Cullen is an elected council member of the WGA East, the founder of its Women’s Salon and a member of its diversity committee. Her deal was negotiated by attorney Ryan Nord of The Nord Group and her former agency WME before the current guild action.
She is repped by Nord and manager A.B. Fischer of Literate.