July 9, 1966 |
|Occupation||Television producer, screenwriter|
|Alma mater||New York University|
|Children||Ally, Chelsea, Zoe|
Pennette was born in Greenwich, Connecticut where he grew up loving theatre: "I want to go into theatre; TV sort of lured me away." He attended New York University where he studied at the Tisch School of the Arts and as a student was a finalist in the Young Playwrights Festival. He intended to pursue a career in Broadway theatre but sold his first television script to Kate & Allie and dropped out of university and moved to Los Angeles to pursue television writing.
Pennette's career began on the sitcom Kate & Allie from where he moved on to other projects including Dave's World and Dear John. He went on to create and write for many of his own series: Caroline in the City, Union Square, Conrad Bloom and All About the Andersons. Most notably, though, were the short-lived medical drama Inconceivable co-created with Oliver Goldstick, inspired by both of their surrogate pregnancy experiences, and the short-lived midseason sitcom Crumbs, an autobiographical portrayal of his family experiences and closeted young adulthood. His other writing and producing work from 2003 onwards includes serving as executive producer and co-executive producer on the television series I'm with Her and the sitcom What I Like About You, for both of which he also wrote a number of episodes. He also wrote the script for and an the executive producer of the 2007 Football Wives pilot,[clarification needed] which was originally intended to be a television series but was later declined by the American Broadcasting Company in favour of seven other pilots with lower budgets, as the ABC claimed that the pitched budget for Football Wives was too high for a midseason pick-up. The series was set to be a U.S. version of the popular British soap opera Footballers' Wives.
He was a member of the writing panel and an executive producer/co-showrunner on the dramedy series Ugly Betty, initially having been a co-executive producer. Ugly Betty's creator and other showrunner Silvio Horta was named AfterElton.com's Man of the Year for 2007 for the show's positive portrayal of LGBT issues—including a possibly gay teenager, a transgender man-turned-woman and a gay male assistant with a homophobic mother—and had to say about Pennette, also gay: "Marco Pennette, my co-showrunner and Executive Producer, deserves a special thanks here too. He is an MVP of comedy, and a big part of Ugly Betty's gay sensibility." On February 11, 2008, ABC picked up Ugly Betty for the 2008-09 television season, but on the day the renewal was announced, Pennette, along with fellow executive producer James Hayman, were let go. The departures of Pennette and Hayman added to the constant turnovers on the series off-camera, which has so far seen five writers having exited or been fired.
Openly gay, Pennette was outed by a colleague network executive on the People's Choice Awards red carpet when asked about his boyfriend in front of his family members, who were unaware of his sexuality. His long-time partner is television talent manager Steve Rabiner, with whom he has three daughters, Ally Chelsea, and Zoe, all born by surrogate pregnancy, the inspiration for his medical drama Inconceivable. His own family experiences were the basis for his sitcom Crumbs; his brother's drowning, his mother's institutionalization and his father's impregnation of another woman.
He is a good friend of Broadway theatre spokesman Seth Rudetsky, having hired him previously to write a song for a character in his sitcom Caroline in the City—an IRS employee auditioning for the musical Cats.
- Keck, William (January 25, 2006). "It's a gay, gay world for Fred Savage". USA Today.
Savage and Pennette ... were both born July 9
- Huff, Richard (January 15, 2006). "Series came from own family". New York Daily News.
- Lee, Chris (September 22, 2003). "ABC sitcom draws comedy from a real romance". The Associated Press. Augusta Chronicle.
- Michael Buckley (July 30, 2007). "STAGE TO SCREENS: Robert Morse of "Mad Men," Plus "Ugly Betty" Producer Marco Pennette". Playbill. Retrieved 2007-12-27.
- "MARCO PENNETTE, executive producer". ABC Studios. 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-27.
- Christopher Lisotta (February 6, 2006). "'Allie' Star Makes a Curtin Call on 'Crumbs'". TelevisionWeek. Retrieved 2007-12-27.
- Greg Hernandez (September 27, 2005). "All in the family: NBC surrogacy drama Inconceivable and ABC mid-season comedy Crumbs acknowledge that, for many gays and lesbians in 2005, it's all about families". The Advocate. Archived from the original on January 6, 2008. Retrieved 2007-12-27.
- Ray Richmond (September 22, 2005). "Inconceivable". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2007-12-27.
- Wayne Keating. "Crumbs: Interview with series creator Marco Pennette". About.com. Retrieved 2007-12-27.
- Joanne Oatts (February 12, 2007). "'Xena' joins US 'Football Wives'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2007-12-27.
- Michael Jensen (December 17, 2007). "The AfterElton.com 2007 Visibility Awards". AfterElton.com. Retrieved 2007-12-27.
- Nellie Andreeva (February 12, 2007). ""Ugly Betty" axes two executive producers". Reuters. Retrieved 2008-02-15.
- Andreeva, Nellie. "Showrunner Change On NBC's 'Animal Practice' – Marco Pennette To Take Over". Deadline.com. Deadline.com. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
- William Keck (January 25, 2006). "It's a gay, gay world for Fred Savage". USA Today. Retrieved 2007-12-27.
- Robert Urban (January 23, 2007). "Powerful Gay Men in Hollywood". AfterElton.com. Retrieved 2007-12-27.
- "Fred Savage returns to TV acting with gay role". The Advocate. January 4, 2006. Retrieved 2007-12-27.
- Seth Rudetsky (December 17, 2007). "ONSTAGE & BACKSTAGE: Matt, Mary and a Brady". Playbill. Retrieved 2007-12-27.