EXCLUSIVE: Off The Map creator Jenna Bans has signed a new two-year overall deal with ABC Studios. Under the seven-figure pact, Bans will serve as head writer on Off The Map, which she is executive producing with Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers. The medical drama, set at an under-stocked clinic in the South American jungle, will launch in midseason behind Desperate Housewives on Sunday. Coincidentally, Desperate Housewives was the series that launched Bans’ career.
Bans is a homegrown ABC talent. For her first series gig, she joined Housewives in its first season as a staff writer. She then went to Rhimes’ Grey’s Anatomy spinoff Private Practice where she served as a producer and most recently was a co-executive producer on Grey’s. Off The Map marks her first stab at development and her third consecutive medical drama series, following Practice and Grey’s. Bans has no medical background but could’ve easily been a lawyer. She had been accepted to the University of Chicago Law School but deferred while trying to break into writing. She ran out of deferring options and was about to enroll in law school when she landed her job on Housewives. Bans is repped by ICM and attorney Jared Levine.