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Sierra Teller Ornelas is staying put at Universal TV.
Under the pact, Ornelas will continue to create and develop new projects for the studio. The Native-American showrunner is currently working with Alan Yang and Matt Hubbard on the studio’s upcoming untitled Maya Rudolph comedy for Apple and will next turn her attention to season two of Rutherford Falls.
“Sierra is an incredibly ambitious and passionate writer and producer who brings a sense of purpose and infectious comedic wit to everything she touches,” said UTV president Erin Underhill. “From her time on Superstore to recently as co-creator of Rutherford Falls, she’s been terrific to work with, and we are grateful and excited to continue our partnership with her at UTV.”
Ornelas recently told THR podcast TV’s Top 5 that her existing deal with UTV expired this year and was already developing other projects including a feature with two Native writers on the staff of Rutherford Falls. In addition to Superstore, Ornelas’ credits include collaborations with Rutherford Falls co-creator Mike Schur on Brooklyn Nine-Nine as well as work on Happy Endings, Selfie and Surviving Jack.
“I am elated to continue this wonderful partnership with Universal Television,” Ornelas said in a statement thanking her execs at UTV parent Universal Studio Group. “Pearlena, Erin, Jim and Megan have all given me immense support and are honestly the most solid humans around.”
Rutherford Falls features one of the largest Indigenous writers rooms on television, with five scribes staffed including showrunner Ornelas, and counts stars Jana Schmieding and Michael Greyeyes as part of its history-making on-screen representation. Schmieding and Helms star as friends at a crossroads when their sleepy town of Rutherford Falls gets an unexpected wake-up call.
To hear more from Ornelas about the making of Rutherford Falls and its place in TV history, check out her interview on THR podcast TV’s Top 5.
Ornelas is repped by UTA, 3 Arts and attorney Tara Kole.
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