'Grace and Frankie' Showrunner Marta Kauffman On Network Versus Netflix

Kauffman discusses the difference between creating content for NBC (she helmed the iconic series 'Friends') and Netflix, the home of her sitcom 'Grace and Frankie.'

"The baby-boomers, especially women, are the largest percentage of the population right now, and there was nothing for them. I felt like, where are the women going through things that are real? What is it like to be that age and be alone?" Marta Kauffman told The Hollywood Reporter during the Comedy Showrunner Roundtable in regards to her Netflix series, Grace and Frankie. "That was the goal, and we couldn’t have done it anywhere else, certainly not anywhere else."

The Friends creator's latest hit series stars legends Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin as two aging women whose husbands have left them for each other.

Kauffman explained that networks would not have told this story about aging women before because, "They believe that television is aspirational, but they actually put that more on comedy than on drama. I mean you look at Breaking Bad, that’s not aspirational. So I don’t know why there aren’t the same rules applied to comedy."

She had to push hard to recreate her place in the television world. "After Friends, all they wanted me to do was create another multi-camera show," she shared. "I felt like, I’ve done that, I can’t compete with myself on this one, so I’ve got to redefine."

More roundtables featuring comedy and drama actors and actresses, drama showrunners, and reality hosts and producers will roll out throughout June in print and online. Tune in to new episodes of "Close Up With The Hollywood Reporter" starting June 26 on SundanceTV, with the premiere of the Comedy Showrunners Roundtable on Sunday, July 31. And look for clips at THR.com/roundtables with full episodes on THR.com after broadcast.

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