Meredith Stiehm (born 1969) is an American television producer and writer. She is the creator of the hit crime drama Cold Case and the FX thriller drama The Bridge. She is a member of the Writers Guild of America and the Producers Guild of America.
Early life and education
Stiehm grew up in Santa Monica, California and graduated from Santa Monica High School. She went on to attend the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn), graduating in 1990 with a degree in English and playwriting. Her experiences in urban Philadelphia at UPenn and as a young woman in the entertainment industry provided much of the inspiration for Cold Case.
Stiehm got her start in the entertainment industry writing for Northern Exposure and later Beverly Hills, 90210. She went on to write for NYPD Blue for four seasons, for which she earned an Emmy nomination for "Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series." After leaving NYPD Blue, Stiehm wrote for ER for two seasons. On both NYPD Blue and ER, Stiehm was one of very few women in the writer's room.
In 2003, Stiehm developed her first series called "Cold Case", a CBS crime drama following a female homicide detective specializing in "cold cases," or unsolved murders, ranging from the early 2000s all the way back to the 1910s. The show explored many issues related to 20th century American history, including sexism, racism, homophobia, anti-war activism and police brutality. In 2004, Stiehm was one of five female showrunners at CBS and, at 35, was the youngest among them. Stiehm remarked that she was mistaken for the lead actress on the first day of shooting. In 2005, Stiehm said that Cold Case had more women in senior positions than any other television show. In 2010, Cold Case was cancelled after seven seasons.
Stiehm left Homeland after two seasons to develop the FX series The Bridge, based on the Danish/Swedish series The Bridge. Set on the border between El Paso and Juárez, the show followed two detectives – one from the U.S., Detective Sonya Cross (Diane Kruger), and one from Mexico, Marco Ruiz (Demián Bichir) - who worked together to hunt down a serial killer operating on both sides of the U.S.-Mexican border. Due to creative differences with her co-producer, Stiehm left the series after one season and returned to Homeland. The Bridge was cancelled after its second season.
In September 2018, it was announced that Stiehm was adapting the bestselling novel "The Banker's Wife" for television.
Awards and nominations
- Emmy Award (Nominated), "Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series", for NYPD Blue, 1998
- Littwin, Susan (November 2004). "In the Company of Women". Written By. Writers Guild of America, west. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved May 25, 2008.
- Knox, Malcolm (September 9, 2004). "Chill factor". The Age. Retrieved May 25, 2008.
- Gray, Ellen (December 31, 2003). "'Cold Case' writer is intrigued with character, a female cop in a man's world". Houston Chronicle.
- "WGA: More Than 7,000 Writers Have Fired Their Agents". Deadline.