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Next Gen 2012: Hollywood's Fastest-Rising Stars

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    Next Gen
    Top 35
    Jessica Chou
    Melanie Frankel
    USA, VP Original Comedy Series

    After working at Imagine and ABC, Frankel, 33, (a Syracuse University grad raised in Lafayette Hill, Pa.) was brought aboard at USA to spearhead the drama-heavy network’s foray into comedy. She’s shepherding USA’s comedy pilots, Sirens (from Denis Leary) and Paging Dr.Freed, starring Annie Potts.

    INDUSTRY MENTOR: Katie O’Connell, my first boss at Imagine Television back in 2001.

    BIG BREAK: Being hired by Steve Stark to be a manager of development at Grammnet Television from my assistant desk at ABC.

    10 YEARS FROM NOW: I hope to be a nonwriting producer.

    BEST ADVICE: Nobody ever dies with an empty inbox. I used to toil away as an assistant, and Imagine’s Skip Chasey walked by my desk and said somebody had once said it to him. I said, “You’re right, I’m going home.”

    CAREER INSPIRATION: Growing up, I was like a walking TV Guide. I knew the grid and what was on what channel. I watched Moonlighting with my dad and Dallas with my mom.

    ONLINE OBSESSION: Facebook and Gawker.

    WHEN I’M NOT WORKING I’M: Playing with my 17-month-old baby, Zoe [with writer husband Etan Frankel]. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m obsessed with her.

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