What Inspired Liz Feldman to Create ‘Dead to Me’: ‘I Was in a Weird, Dark Place’

Liz Feldman, the creator and executive producer of Netflix’s Dead to Me, walked into a pitch meeting without a pitch when inspiration struck her with an idea for a show.

What is ‘Dead to Me’ about?

A dark comedy fused with drama, Dead to Me follows Jen Harding (Christina Applegate) as she grieves the sudden loss of her husband who died at the hand of a hit-and-run driver.

Dead to Me official trailer | YouTube

Harding, a real estate agent and mother of two, meets Judy Hale (Linda Cardellini) during her first visit to a group grief counseling session in her home of Southern California. The two women become friends, bonding of their grief. Soon after, Harding learns her new friend has much more going on in her life than she led to her to believe.

Applegate and Cardellini are the stars of the show with supporting cast members James Marsden, Ed Asner, and Max Jenkins among others.

How Liz Feldman got the idea for ‘Dead to Me’

Feldman told TheWrap how the inspiration for Dead to Me came to her during a pitch meeting.

“I had just turned 40, and on my 40th birthday, very unexpectedly and sadly, my cousin passed away. He was not much older than me. So I was in a weird, dark place,” she told the publication.

Liz Feldman
Creator and executive producer Liz Feldman arrives for the premiere of Netflix’s Dead To Me Season 1 at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica, California on May 2, 2019. | MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

“I was, at that point, on my 5th or 6th year of trying to get pregnant, and I was on fertility hormones. I was grieving,” she said. “And here I am now at this pitch meeting, and they’re asking me if I have anything for two women, and I just — something just kind of popped into my brain.”

“One of them is a widow, and she meets the other one in a grief support group — only the other one isn’t exactly who she says she is,” she told TheWrap.

Feldman on the biggest challenge in getting the show made: ‘Acts of God’

In another interview, Feldman explained the challenges she faced in making Dead to Me. She described the biggest challenge as being “acts of God” to Variety.

“The biggest challenge of getting it made? Acts of God,” she told the publication at the show’s premiere in Santa Monica, California, on May 2, 2019.

Christina Applegate, Liz Feldman, and Linda Cardellini.
Christina Applegate, Liz Feldman, and Linda Cardellini attend the premiere of Netflix’s Dead to Me at The Bungalow on May 02, 201, in Santa Monica, California. |Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Netflix

“There are things that happen in production that you can never foresee coming, like illness and people actually passing away and inclement weather and fires,” she said. “Things like that that were just sort of daily obstacles.”

Is Season 2 of ‘Dead to Me’ possible?

Dead to Me premiered earlier this month and already fans are calling for a second season. But will they get their wish? Season 2 has yet to be confirmed but will the success of Season 1, a second season of the show makes sense. Plus, Season 1 ended with a cliffhanger that left viewers with more questions than answers.

Whether or not the show gets picked up for a second season, Feldman is grateful the show got made at all. “I have to say we [were] really blessed, like something was up there looking down at us, some kind of luck,” she told Variety.