Joseph Dougherty's play "Chester Bailey," premiered at A.C.T. in San Francisco where it was selected Outstanding World Premiere Play and Outstanding Production of a Play by the TBA Awards. It was subsequently produced at The Contemporary American Theater Festival at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. He earned Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations for his play "Digby" produced by Manhattan Theatre Club. He wrote the libretto for the Tony winning musical version of "My Favorite Year," presented at Lincoln Center.

An Emmy and Humanitas Prize winner for his work on the groundbreaking series "thirtysomething," he has written several movies for HBO including the remake of "Attack of the 50 Foot Woman," directed by Christopher Guest, and the Emmy winning Noir/Occult mashup "Cast A Deadly Spell," which was nominated for a Ray Bradbury Award by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

He has contributed as a writer and director to several television series including "Judging Amy," "Once and Again," and "Saving Grace." He was a writer, director, and executive producer on the hit series "Pretty Little Liars," co-created the Pretty Little Liars spin-off, "Ravenswood," and helped launch "Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists". His books include "Comfort and Joi," "Trunk Piece," "Psychopomp," and "The Persistence of Phosphors" which received an AfterEllen Visibility Award as Best Book of 2013.