Erica Messer is an accomplished Showrunner, Executive Producer, Writer
and Creator of dramatic series for U.S. network and streaming television.
She has worked in the industry for over twenty-five years.
Currently, Messer is serving as Executive Producer and Showrunner on the
renewal of "Criminal Minds" on Paramount+.
Most recently, she served as Executive Producer and Showrunner on the ABC
pilot, TRIAGE, working with EP/Creator David Cornue, EP/Director Jon M. Chu, and EPs Caitlin Foito, Courtney Hazlett and Steven Marrs. In 2019, she wrapped her her ninth and, what she thought was, her final year as Executive Producer, Showrunner and Head Writer of CRIMINAL MINDS. In addition to the 215+, episodes she led as a producer, she maintained the title of longest-serving writer on the series, having joined the show in its first season in September, 2005. Throughout its run, CRIMINAL MINDS consistently was ranked TV's number one suspense thriller and is listed one among a select few shows to have broadcast 300+ episodes over 14 seasons. CRIMINAL MINDS maintained its popularity through successful streaming, cable syndication, international sales and one foreign adaptation (in Korea). The show, which is set to end its US run with Season 15 in the winter of 2020, focuses on an elite team of FBI profilers who analyze the complex behaviors of TV’s most depraved criminals in order to capture and bring them to justice.
In May 2015, in collaboration with Mark Gordon Productions, Messer created CRIMINAL MINDS: BEYOND BORDERS and simultaneously served as the lead Writer, Showrunner and Executive Producer on both shows for the next two seasons. A spinoff from the original show, BEYOND BORDERS followed the International Response Team, the unit of FBI profilers rescuing Americans who found themselves in trouble abroad. The show aired on CBS from 2016 - 2017.
In 2017, Messer trained her ambitions on expanding her impact as a creator, producer and writer of new shows as well as a partner and mentor for skilled writers looking to launch their own series. She's signed her first two-year overall pod deal with ABC Studios and re-upped her exclusive pod deal with ABC Studios and Disney Television Studios in 2019. Under the Erica Messer Productions banner, Messer is committed to creating new network, cable and streaming television shows with talented writers eager to work with a seasoned producer with a strong reputation for in show production and management. The company's focus is on telling hopeful, empowering stories of regular people committed to living lives of impact and meaning. Over the years, she developed the mother-daughter spy drama, BEST KEPT SECRET (ABC Network/ABC Studios), the multi-generational nursing drama, NIGHTINGALE (ABC Network/ABC Studios), the multi-generational family drama, PARADISE FALLS (ABC Network & ABC Studios),and the international biographical drama, DR. TOM (ABC Signature Studios). The company has a full slate of series in development with ABC Signature Studios.
In 2018, Messer completed her producer duties on her first documentary feature film, "Biggest Little Farm." It was a labor of love on which she worked for over six years. The documentary had its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival in September and has gone on to win many awards at various film festivals, including seven nominations for the Critics' Choice Awards for Documentary Films. Partnered with Neon, the film's U.S. theatrical release was May 10, 2019. It is available for current viewing on Apple I-Tunes and, in November, on Hulu.
Messer was born and raised in Washington D.C. and spent the latter half of her childhood in Maryland. She stayed on the East Coast to pursue her education, attending Florida State and Salisbury University. After graduating, Messer relocated to Los Angeles and got her first job working in drama development at FOX. Her next job was assisting Chris Keyser and Amy Lippman (Creators & Executive Producers of PARTY OF FIVE) and during her time in the production offices, she learned the ins-and-outs of running a popular show and the importance of strong character development in crafting a worthwhile series. From there, Messer launched her own career as a writer. She worked with a writing partner on the shows ALIAS, THE OC, and CHARMED before moving to CRIMINAL MINDS in its inaugural year. Without a break, she has written for and worked with the series since its premiere on September 22, 2005.
To learn more about Messer's climb and career in television, listen to her interview on the WGAW Podcast, "3rd & Fairfax" (episode 114).
Messer is a working mother and very familiar with juggling the demands of Hollywood with those of parenthood. She lives in Los Angeles with her family.
Deborah Cincotta heads up Erica Messer Productions, overseeing all aspects
of TV and Film development.
Cincotta, born and raised in Massachusetts, was unaware of the potential and
importance of Hollywood in her life. She graduated from Harvard College with
a honors degree in Social Anthropology & Government and a plan to attend
law school before pursuing her dream to become the President of the National
Organization for Women. An impromptu spring trip to sunny Los Angeles
changed all that.
Her entertainment career began at NBC in the Movies & Mini-Series Department, which she left to serve as Director
of TV Development at Laurence Mark Productions (Walt Disney Studios) and, subsequently, as Vice President of TV &
Cable Development, developing and setting up movies for cable channels (Showtime, ABC Family Channel). A few years later, she moved to Keyser-Lippman Productions (Sony-Columbia) to focus her interest in drama series. During
her time as Vice-President of TV & Film Development, Cincotta oversaw the hiring of the writing staff for FOX's "Party
of Five" and its spinoff, "Time of Your Life," assisted in the pilot development of an original police drama series for
CBS ("Partners"), assisted in both the pilot and series development of "Time of Your Life" (at FOX), served as Associate Producer on the 13-episode run of "Time of Your Life" and developed original feature material for the company.
Cincotta left the entertainment industry to serve as the primary caregiver for her two young children. During her fourteen year hiatus from Hollywood, she created, founded and ran an internet startup called Totefish (a customizable, e-commerce search engine for shoppers), wrote several drafts of a novel, served on multiple school and charitable committees and, in an attempt to address her fear of public speaking, enrolled as a student of The Second City's Conservatory Improv program.
Throughout the years, Cincotta remained close friends with Messer, who she'd met working at Keyser-Lippman Productions. Having read hundreds of writers, Cincotta knew that Messer had what it took to be a great success, encouraged her to write her first script, which she then sent to agents at UTA. The rest is history. As Messer signed her new development deal, she reached out and asked Cincotta to head up the endeavor. Cincotta jumped at the opportunity. With her children finishing up their elementary schooling, she was ready to be return to work in Hollywood.
Cincotta lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their two children.