Danielle Rossen is a busy woman these days. The ep of series development for ABC’s Lincoln Square Productions currently has four series on four different networks, overseeing more than 100 employees. ABC’s What Would You Do, ABC Family’s Next Step Realty, HGTV’s Flipping Moms and Watt’s World on Travel Channel were all created by Rossen (at right, with the stars of Next Step Realty). We caught up with the producing phenom and asked 5 Questions about her newest show, her career highlights and her preferred restaurant on date night, with husband NBC News correspondent Jeff Rossen.
TVNewser: You’re the EP of three shows currently on the air. How do you juggle three different programs while overseeing a staff with over 100 employees?
Rossen: When I was growing up, my mind would always bounce from one thing to the next. Not helpful in high school. But as I got older, I’ve been able to transform that energy into a positive. Let’s call it “multi-tasking” — sounds much better. The number of employees is not the difficult part; it’s the number of personalities. All working at different speeds. All the shows at different stages of production. But I’ve assembled a strong inner circle to help me keep the machine running. I love the challenge and wouldn’t have it any other way. Bring on show number five.
TVNewser: Next Step Realty has been described as Million Dollar Listing for millennials, what are your thoughts on that comparison?
Rossen: It’s an easy comparison to make, but what this show is doing is much more accessible. Those shows are catering to the one-percenters. But, 66 percent of people living in Manhattan are renters and you never really get to see what the rental market is like in New York City. It is like no other place. With this show, Blair and his team are renting apartments, but selling the lifestyle. Plus, the interpersonal relationships are fascinating. The love. The fights. The raw moments we all experience at work.
TVNewser: You started out as a production coordinator back in 1997 and worked all the way up to become ABC’s youngest ep. What advice would you give to someone who wants to become the next you?
Rossen: I lived and breathed this place for the first 10 years of my career working at Primetime Live and 20/20. I rarely left. This business is competitive. I had to carve my own path, and unfortunately my social life suffered. As my friends were all having kids, I was sitting in an edit room at 2 a.m. At the time I thought they were the “boring” ones. Later in life, I was lucky enough to experience motherhood myself, and learned to balance work and family. But I am not going to lie; it is very hard to be a good wife, mother, and executive producer. Most days I can balance two out of the three. Some days, I truly only master one. But I still live and breathe this place. That’s just who I am. Why fight it?
TVNewser: You’ve worked on some of the biggest interviews in recent memory, including Barbara Walters‘ exclusive with Monica Lewinsky and Diane Sawyers‘ legendary interview with Whitney Houston. What would you consider the highlight of your career up to this point?
Rossen: Right now. Today. This moment. 2015 has definitely been the highlight of my career. It has truly been the re-birth of Danielle Rossen. (Yes, I just referenced myself in third person — never let me do that again). What Would You Do was ordered for an 11th season on ABC. Watt’s World with Nick Watt is currently airing on Travel Channel and I jumped into the reality world with Next Step Realty: NYC on ABC Family. It premiered last night. Flipping Moms on HGTV will debut in the Fall.
TVNewser: Do you ever have time to leave the kids at home for a date night, with your husband Jeff Rossen who works across the street at NBC News? If so, what is your go-to restaurant in New York City when you guys want some alone time and a good meal?
Rossen: With all of my shows and his travel schedule, the best dates tend to be hanging out at home, ordering in food and binging on our favorite shows. Currently, that’s Power on Starz and Unreal on Lifetime. Jeff is obsessed with that one. Sorry love, had to call you out. Romantic, right? We spend our summer weekends out east, enjoying the kids, swimming and TRYING to disconnect. We often fail at that. But the time away from the city recharges us. Our favorite restaurant out there: Dockers in Quogue. On the water. Gorgeous. Nice enough to make us feel like we are on a date, but casual enough to be relaxing.