Meet a DEMAN Keynote Speaker:
Brooke Bowman (Trinity ’94) of FOX
Bowman will be part of the keynote conversation during Duke’s DEMAN Weekend at 7 pm in the Nasher Museum of Art on Friday, November 2.
Brooke Bowman currently serves as the Senior Vice President of Drama Programming and Development for Fox Broadcasting Company (FOX) in Los Angeles. In this position, she is responsible for supervising the development and production of new and returning scripted series for the network. Throughout her time at FOX, Bowman has worked on hit shows including Sleepy Hollow, Scream Queens, and The Orville. Bowman earned her BA in English and Modern Literature from Duke University. She is a keynote speaker for Duke’s DEMAN Weekend (Nov. 2-3).
Q+A with Brooke Bowman
We asked students to submit questions to our DEMAN keynote speakers. Here are Bowman’s responses.
Q: Can you point out a pivotal moment in your career where you knew you were doing what you wanted to do?
Brooke Bowman: I was working at ABC Family when it was recently purchased by Disney, and we were very much a start-up company in that moment. We launched a show that I brought in and developed called Kyle XY. It was a sci-fi series about a boy with no belly button and it scored a rating that was not only a high for us, but for cable in general. I was thrilled that my passion aligned with what audiences were looking for and knew I would continue to be successful working in this creative industry.
Q: What were one or two of the best mistakes or impactful lessons you learned in your career?
BB: When I was at VH1, my boss at the time pulled me aside after a team meeting. He let me know that as thrilled as he was with my enthusiasm and my ideas, he wanted me to focus on listening to others’ input. He pointed out that it was clear in meetings that I wasn’t always considering other people’s ideas, and that I wouldn’t grow as a result. It was a great tip that I think about to this day.
Media is a very fractured landscape now, which makes my job more challenging than ever before.
Q: What are one or two things you wish you would have done or taken advantage of while you were still at Duke?
BB: Though I was somewhat involved in the arts at Duke—I was in several student-run plays—I wish I had been even more involved as an undergraduate. The arts program was not what it is today, but I would have loved to have made those connections with peers and faculty who had similar interests to my own.
Q: How do you think your industry has changed?
BB: It has changed so much. People are watching TV totally differently now. There are more choices than ever, more “cord cutters” (people who don’t have cable, only over-the-top services), and a critical mass is more difficult to attain than ever. Media is a very fractured landscape now, which makes my job more challenging than ever before.
Q: For all the students interested in working in creative industries, what would you tell them makes the best employee or intern? What do you look for when hiring?
BB: I am looking for people who have a fantastic attitude. For these people, no job is too small and no task is too menial. I’m looking for someone who will go the extra mile. They read extra material, look for interesting ideas outside of the walls of the office, and show a passion for the industry while also doing their job incredibly well.
Q: What’s your favorite spot on campus? Durham?
BB: My favorite afternoons, as I recall, were days when I was on my own and would go to the student store to get bags filled with yogurt pretzels and cherry sours. I’d then head to the stacks in Perkins Library to study. The library was so quiet and serene, which meant that I was always productive. My type A personality was so happy there!