And it all began with an internship with Herb Denenberg, the late consumer reporter at WCAU whom Rosenthal worked for one day a week while studying business and journalism at Rutgers.
"I was scared of him," she said, laughing.
She liked working in TV news, though, and went on to spend a few years in the business, eventually abandoning her plan to "to be Diane Sawyer" to focus on producing.
"I realized, you know what, I could probably do fine [in front of the cameras], but I thought that the thing that would probably get me the furthest was producing. I loved storytelling, I loved the excitement, I loved deadlines," Rosenthal said.
She may have transferred the skills she learned in news to Hollywood, but storytelling still excites her, whether the subject’s the rocky lives of rock stars or the freewheeling ways of "Push Girls."
The series stars Angela Rockwood, Tiphany Adams, Mia Schaikewitz and Auti Angel, four women in Los Angeles whom Rosenthal said were friends long before TV came calling.
"I met Angela [through a mutual friend and colleague] and had lunch with her and just was so taken by her and her spirit and her energy and her outlook and perspective," said the producer of the former lingerie model, who’s seen in the series trying to resume her modeling career, but as a quadriplegic in a wheelchair. "I was definitely interested in her story" and when Angela told her about her three best friends, "I said, ‘I want to meet them.’ So I did, like the following week … It was amazing. It was one of those nights I’ll never forget. It was intimate and real. It was fabulous conversation. And I was like, ‘Oh, my God. This is the show. This is the story that I need to tell.’?"
It probably didn’t hurt that all four women had made-for-TV looks and personalities. Auti was a professional dancer before a car crash put her in a wheelchair, and she still dances in the hip-hop troupe she founded. She’s performed with Ludacris.
Mia, a competitive swimmer paralyzed at 15 by a rupture in her spinal cord (the only one of the four not to have lost the use of her legs in a car crash), works in graphic design, dances with Auti’s troupe and is working her way back as a swimmer.
And then there’s Angela’s roommate, Tiphany, another modeling hopeful who flirts even while pumping her own gas and likes to talk about her attraction to both men and women. "Yes, I can have sex. Lots and lots of sex," she replies to the question she imagines people are asking.
"She wears her heart on her sleeve. She says exactly how she feels," said Rosenthal. "What’s amazing about Tiphany and about all the girls is they weren’t self-conscious at all about the cameras."
Still, the wheelchairs matter.
"I think it’s shattering perceptions," Rosenthal said. "Like Mia says [in the show], you haven’t seen sexy in a wheelchair."
Viewers should come away thinking, "?‘Wow, if they can go through this, then I can go through that,’?" she said.
"That’s really what I did with ‘Little People, Big World’ and ‘Ruby’ and, you know, ‘Behind the Music.’… It doesn’t have to be a disability. Everybody has their challenges."
Contact Ellen Gray at 215-854-5950 or email@example.com or follow on Twitter @elgray. Read her blog at EllenGray.tv.