Georgia Jeffries Papers

Finding aid created by Writers Guild Foundation Archive staff using RecordEXPRESS
Writers Guild Foundation Archive
7000 West Third Street
Los Angeles, California 90048
(323) 782-4680

Descriptive Summary

Title: Georgia Jeffries Papers
Dates: 1980-2003
Collection Number: WGF-MS-124
Creator/Collector: Jeffries, Georgia
Extent: 7.5 linear feet, 6 boxes
Repository: Writers Guild Foundation Archive
Los Angeles, California 90048
Abstract: The Georgia Jeffries Papers consist of scripts and related production ephemera from a variety of TV series and movies, both produced and unproduced. A small part of the collection contains papers and media related to Jeffries’ awards and professional involvement.
Language of Material: English


Available by appointment only.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item]. Georgia Jeffries Papers. Collection Number: WGF-MS-124. Writers Guild Foundation Archive

Acquisition Information

Donated by Georgia Jeffries on 9/22/2020

Biography/Administrative History

Georgia Jeffries is a writer for television and feature films. Born in the Midwest, she was raised in Peoria, Illinois and the San Francisco Bay Area. After graduating from UCLA cum laude, she began her career as a journalist for American Film, the magazine of the American Film Institute. Her first feature screenplay, Nobody’s Fool, won the Gold Award at the Houston International Film Festival. She began working in television when she was hired as a story editor on the hit ground-breaking series Cagney & Lacey. During her three seasons as a writer-producer, she was the first individual woman to win the Writers Guild Award for Episodic Drama in 1985 and 1987, as well as being nominated for two Emmys and the Humanitas Prize. In the 1990s Jeffries served as Supervising Producer of the Peabody Award winning China Beach drama series where she also earned Emmy and Humanitas Prize nominations for her teleplays then went on to write as well as produce both Sisters and New York News. As an Executive Producer/Writer, she developed numerous original pilots, movies and book adaptations for ABC, CBS, NBC, USA/Universal, Lifetime, Showtime and HBO. In 2009 she received the Women’s International Film & Television Showcase Screenwriter of the Year Award for her body of work. Appointed to the faculty of the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts in 2003, she is a tenured professor and former Chair of the TV Curriculum Committee. She created the Writing Division’s first drama pilot class in addition to launching the first undergraduate television thesis at an American university. She also teaches MFA drama thesis and received the Graduate Student Council Appreciation Award. She has guest lectured at the American Film Institute, Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Paley Center for Media, Humanitas Institute Master Writers Seminars, the Banff International Television Festival, the Melbourne National Screenwriting Conference, Australian Film Institute and Bouchercon, the international mystery writers conference in Toronto. She was selected for a Leighton Artists residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts to write a novel inspired by The Good Soldier, her original unproduced HBO docudrama. Jeffries is a past vice-president of both Women in Film and PEN USA West. She also served on the Writers Guild Foundation Board of Trustees for two decades. She has been a judge for the PEN Teleplay Awards, the WGA Awards, as well as the annual Voice Awards which recognize film and television that educates the public about mental health, addiction and recovery. In 2021 she was interviewed in the Showtime documentary, Buried, about her work producing the controversial 1992 NBC MOW, Fatal Memories.

Scope and Content of Collection

This collection is arranged into three series. Series I, Produced Projects, 1984-2000 contains scripts, development papers and production material for Jeffries’ TV projects. It is comprised primarily of material from the TV series Cagney & Lacey. There are scripts for Jeffries’ teleplays as well as cast photos, production documents, extensive press releases and clippings, awards show programs, and correspondence related to the series. There are also fan newsletters and hundreds of fan letters praising the show and its performers and writers, with particular focus on the episodes “The Gimp,” “The Clinic” and the Emmy nominated “Turn, Turn, Turn.” The remainder of series I consists of material for the following projects: China Beach – scripts, correspondence, fan letters, press clippings and a focus group report; Fatal Memories - Correspondence, articles, photos; For Love and Glory - Treatment and script drafts; My Husband’s Secret Life – script drafts and production documents; New York News – script drafts and production documents. Series II, Unproduced Projects 1978-2003 contains scripts, correspondence and research for both TV and feature film projects. Titles are all written by Jeffries except where noted. A Choice of Nightmares based on a book by Marjorie Dorner – treatment and script drafts; Confessions – feature script and legal documents related to reacquisition of rights; Coming of Age – treatments and script; Dixie – pilot script drafts; The Good Soldier – treatments and script drafts; L.A. Woman (aka Heartland) – pilot script drafts; Nobody’s Fool – feature treatments and script drafts; Potomac Fever – treatments, drafts and extensive clippings, research and correspondence related to this political satire TV series idea from Mitchell Reiss and Elisabeth Reiss, which Jeffries was co-writing and producing; Quartet – pilot script; Save Our Child – extensive research, transcripts of interviews conducted by Jeffries, and script drafts for a TV movie about doctor Stanislaw Burzynski and the Kunnari family; Vista Clara – pilot script drafts; Walking Out on the Boys – script drafts and extensive notes and research based on the book by neurosurgeon Frances Conley about confronting sexism in medicine; WRAMC (Walter Reed Army Medical Center) - Pilot Script; Your Blues Ain’t Like Mine – feature script drafts based on the novel by Bebe Moore Campbell. The series also contains multiple drafts by Jeffries and other writers of HBO’s Iron Jawed Angels, on which Jeffries received “Story By” credit from Spring Creek Productions/HBO Films but was not given a final writing credit after Guild arbitration. Other outlines and treatments in this series are titled: Crimes of Passion, Paris Blues, Soul Unbound (based on the memoir ,Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl), Starlite Lounge, The Storytellers, Violated, A Winning Team. Series III, Professional Papers and Media, 1979-2018 spans Jeffries’ career as a writer and educator and documents a variety of TV projects and events and organizations that she was involved with. There are programs, photos and clippings related to the Women in Film Crystal Awards (1982 and 1988) and PEN Center; programs, schedule, correspondence, photos and other ephemera for the 1991 Fourth National Screenwriters Conference in Australia in which Jeffries was an invited speaker; event flyers, programs and correspondence related to her panelist involvement while serving on the board of the Writers Guild Foundation circa 2000s; photos, speeches, programs, media coverage, correspondence, and articles related to various events where she was a speaker, interviewee, or presenter; correspondence with agents at ICM regarding specific projects; articles written by and/or about Jeffries for various magazines including the magazine of the WGA, Written By. Media consists of recorded episodes and clips of Cagney & Lacey and China Beach, recordings of events and interviews in which Jeffries appears as a speaker, interviews and testimonials related to Dr. Burzynski and the Kunnari family, published books that Jeffries was adapting or using for research, and books that feature Jeffries and her work in entertainment.

Indexing Terms

Television scripts.
Made-for-TV movies
Cagney and Lacey (Television program)
Television producers and directors.
Television writers.