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July 11, 2017

Nailing It

Busy is good, but Janine Sherman Barrois needs a little rest.

Maria Neuman
  • Janine Sherman Barrois

    Doug Hyun

Janine Sherman Barrois could use a nap.

“Last night I went to bed at 2 a.m. and was already answering emails at 4:47 a.m.,” says the showrunner of the TNT dramedy Claws, premiering June 11. “This is my first official showrunner credit and we’re shooting in New Orleans and Florida, while all the writers are back in Burbank. I kind of feel like I’m the coach of the whole team.”

Set in a nail salon in South Florida, Claws — starring Niecy Nash and executive-produced by Barrois, Will McCormack and Rashida Jones — offers a fun, fiercely femme backdrop that oozes female empowerment and friendship in an otherwise male-dominated world of organized crime.

“I just love the female bad-assery of this show,” enthuses Barrois, who recently signed an exclusive multi-year deal with Warner Bros. Television to create and develop new series. “When I was first given the script that [creator and coexecutive producer] Eliot Laurence wrote, I was blown away by his voice — and also by the fact he’d never gotten a manicure.”

Barrois, who spent five years as an executive producer on CBS’s Criminal Minds and prior to that was an executive producer on ER, also has another series upcoming for TNT, Hinges.

“I seriously got lucky getting into the John Wells camp,” she says of the esteemed writer-producer who mentored her. “I did nine years of television with him, which gave me such an opportunity to learn and grow.”

These days, Barrois, who graduated from the Warner Bros. writing program, now gives back by serving in the mentoring program for the Writers Guild. “Mentoring changed my career. It’s so important — especially for women and people of color,” she says. “I’m one of those people that thinks if someone is better than me at something, then I want to hire them.”

But first she needs that nap.

This article originally appeared in emmy magazine, Issue No. 5, 2017

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