Jessica Klein Collection

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: Jessica Klein Collection
Dates: 1981-2006
Collection Number: WGF-MS-045
Extent: 7 linear ft., 7 boxes
Repository: Writers Guild Foundation Archive
Los Angeles, California 90048
Abstract: The Jessica Klein Collection, 1981-2006, consists of scripts and other material related to Klein's career as a TV writer and producer. The collection includes scripts and correspondence related to Beverly Hills, 90210, Capitol, and Truth or Consequences and also includes scripts, research, correspondence, and contracts for unrealized projects. Much of the work was co-written with her husband at the time, Steve Wasserman.
Language of Material: English


This collection contains unprocessed material with access restrictions. The majority of the collection is stored offsite. One week advance notice is required for retrieval.

Publication Rights

The responsibility to secure copyright and publication permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Jessica Klein Collection. Writers Guild Foundation Archive

Acquisition Information

Donated by Jessica Klein on May 24, 2016 and June 29, 2017

Biography/Administrative History

Born March 14, 1956 in New York City, Jessica Klein graduated from Harvard University with a degree in psychology and social relations. She began her entertainment career working on Children's Television Workshop productions such as Sesame Street, 3-2-1 Contact and The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. Klein began her writing career in daytime television, serving as Head Writer on soap opera As the World Turns during the 1984-1985 season, which garnered the staff a Daytime Emmy nomination. She was a writer on Capitol during the 1986-1987 season and worked on the revival of the game show Truth or Consequences in 1987. During this period and for much of her career, she worked with her husband at the time, Steve Wasserman (1952-1998). Moving into primetime, the pair wrote on Mancuso FBI, Northern Exposure and Gabriel's Fire. From 1991 to 1997, Klein and Wasserman served as writers and then executive producers on Beverly Hills 90210. They were in development on a pilot at MTV, Youth in Revolt, at the time of Wasserman’s death in 1998 from a sailing accident. Klein went on to co-create Saturday morning teen series Just Deal with Thomas Lynch and worked as producer and writer with Lynch on another teen series, Scout’s Safari. The latter series earned her a 2004 Daytime Emmy nomination. In 2013, she served as head writer on the final year of soap opera One Life to Live. Klein served on the WGA Board of Directors from 1996-1997.

Scope and Content of Collection

The Jessica Klein Collection consists of produced and unproduced scripts as well as correspondence, research, ideas, contracts, and notes created during the span of her television writing and producing career. Many of the projects were written with her then-husband Steve Wasserman. The collection is divided into four series. Series I: Produced Television Scripts and Production Documents, 1985-2001 contains material from daytime soap opera As the World Turns, Beverly Hills 90210, soap opera Capitol, Truth or Consequences game show reboot and several other TV series. Series II: Unproduced Projects, 1981-2003 contains completed scripts for features including The Cop Who Wouldn’t Die, Mark My Words, Foul Rock; TV pilots including The More Things Change, Knowing Jane and Youth in Revolt; and TV series including Crosstown (creator Ed McBain) and Plymouth (creator Lee David Zlotoff). Series III: Research and Ideas, undated contains many typed outlines and pitches for TV series ideas as well as research and notes specific to those projects. Ideas are for both fiction and non-fiction and span a wide range of topics such as klezmer music, forensic sketch artists and a national Enquirer exposé. Series IV: Legal Agreements and Correspondence, 1996-2006 consists of correspondence to and from Jessica Klein, mostly with her agents and lawyers regarding specific projects, book options, and contract negotiations. A small amount of correspondence relates to her work with Children’s Television Workshop, her role as producer on Beverly Hills 90210 and WGA ephemera.

Indexing Terms

Teen drama (Television programs)
Wasserman, Steven
Children’s Television Workshop
Television scripts
Television producers and directors
Television writers