Stay up to date with the latest from MAKERS delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for new stories from trailblazing women, a big dose of inspiration, and exclusive MAKERS content.

Newsletter Confirmation

Thank you for joining! Please check your inbox for our special welcome letter
with exclusive updates from MAKERS.


Impact of a Sitcom

Impact of a Sitcom

More From Diane

In this video

Tagged as

English reflects the final season of "Murphy Brown" in which they used humor to tackle a very serious subject.

Diane's Biography

Best Advice Received: “Don’t worry if not everyone likes you.”
Tour Guide: When preparing to write her first sitcom Foley Square, about a female Manhattan DA, English’s legal “tour guide” was then-federal prosecutor, Rudy Giuliani.
Proudest Accomplishment: Mentoring other writers.
Cause of Choice: Planned Parenthood Los Angeles

Diane English is an Emmy-winning film and television producer, director, and screenwriter. She is best known for creating the show "Murphy Brown," which ran on CBS from 1988 to 1998.
English was born in Buffalo, N.Y., in 1948. Her father was an electrician at the Niagara Mohawk Power Plant and her mother, a former singer, worked as a bookkeeper. Upon visiting New York City for the first time as a twelve-year old, English decided she was destined for life in the big city.
After discovering her talent for playwriting as an undergraduate at Buffalo State University, English moved to New York in 1971. She went to work for New York’s PBS station WNET, working her way up from a secretary to associate director of the station’s experimental division. In 1980, she received her first writer credit, on PBS’s first made-for-TV movie, The Lathe of Heaven, and earned a Writer’s Guild of America Award nomination.
Following this success, English moved to Los Angeles. Once there, English truly hit it big—first as a writer/producer for Foley Square and My Sister Sam, and soon after, as the creator of Murphy Brown. English’s work on Murphy Brown earned her an Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series and two more for Outstanding Comedy Series.
With her former production company, English went on to produce a host of television series, including Love & War, Double Rush, and Living in Captivity. In 2008, she saw a 14-year dream come to fruition when she finished raising the money to produce the film The Women, for which she also wrote the screenplay and directed.
In addition to her Emmy’s, English has been honored with two Writers Guild of America Awards, a Genie Award from American Women in Radio and Television, a Freedom-to-Write-Award from PEN Center USA West, and the Commissioners’ Awards from the National Commission on Working Women for her positive portrayal of working women on television.

Related Videos

Charlotte Bunch
Charlotte Bunch
International Women's Rights Activist

Women worldwide, “are routinely subject to torture, starvation, terrorism, humiliation, mutilation, and even murder simply because they are female,” wrote Charlotte Bun...

Lynn Povich
Lynn Povich
First Female Sr. Editor at Newsweek

Lynn Povich is an award-winning journalist and women’s rights pioneer. In 1970, she helped organize a landmark sex discrimination suit against Newsweek, and in 1975, became t...

Katie Couric
Katie Couric
Network News Pioneer

Katie Couric is an award-winning journalist and TV personality whose time in the storied anchor chair of the "CBS Evening News" made her the first woman to serve as sole ...

Marian Wright Edelman
Marian Wright Edelman
Founder, Children's Defense Fund

Marian Wright Edelman is a renowned activist who has been fighting for the rights of children for the last 40 years. Through the Children’s Defense Fund that she established ...