Life and career
Hall was born in Chatham, Virginia. She is the daughter of Ervis Hall and Flo Hall, and is the older sister of television producer Barbara Hall. She graduated from Chatham High School in 1974 and from the College of William and Mary in 1978 with a BA in English. She was then awarded a fellowship from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts to the University of Virginia, where she was in graduate school in the MFA Playwriting Program.
While at William and Mary, Hall took a three-week trip to Hollywood with students from the University of Richmond. There she attended writing seminars hosted by Earl Hamner and Alan Alda. Impressed by her talent, both Hamner and Alda kept in touch with her after she returned to Virginia. With their encouragement, she decided to move to California after graduating from the University of Virginia in 1979, and within a year she was story editor of Eight Is Enough and writing scripts for M*A*S*H. In her career as writer, producer and creative consultant, Hall has worked on numerous series including Hill Street Blues, Moonlighting, Roseanne and Grace Under Fire. Shows for which she wrote individual episodes include Northern Exposure, I'll Fly Away, Judging Amy, and The Good Wife.
Among other recognitions, Hall has received the Humanitas Prize, the Women in Film Luminas Award and the Writers Guild of America Award. She has received seven Emmy Award Nominations. In 1984 she was listed by Esquire Magazine in its first annual register, "The Best of the New Generation: Men and Women under 40 Who Are Changing America".
Hall is also the author of the novel Dark Debts, a supernatural thriller combining horror, Southern Gothic, humor, romance and theological mystery. Dark Debts was a Book of the Month Club main selection and has been translated into French, German and Japanese.
Hall is married to her high school sweetheart, Chris Walker, and has four children. She and her husband own Black Bear Books, an independent bookstore in Boone, North Carolina. Hall maintains residences in Los Angeles and North Carolina.
- Eight Is Enough (1977)
- Hill Street Blues (1981)
- M*A*S*H (1980–1983)
- Moonlighting (1985)
- The Women of Brewster Place (1989)
- Northern Exposure (1990)
- Judging Amy (1999)
- Brotherhood (2008)
- The Good Wife (2010)
- The Glades (2011)
- Dark Debts. New York: Random House, 1996: ISBN 978-0-517-26786-8. Ivy Books, 1997: ISBN 978-0-8041-1655-8. Pan Books (UK), 1998: ISBN 978-0-330-35107-2.