DANA STEVENS, creator/executive producer
Dana Stevens was born in Whittier, California in 1963 and grew up in Phoenix Arizona. She enrolled in UCLA for her undergraduate studies and graduated with a BA in Theater. Stevens started her career as an actress but soon found an interest in writing screenplays. Her first film was from her original script, "Blink," directed by Michael Apted in 1994. She then went on to write "City of Angels", starring Meg Ryan and Nicholas Cage, released in 1998. Stevens also wrote "For Love of the Game," directed by Sam Raimi and starring Kevin Costner, shares credit on the romantic comedy "Life or Something Like It," starring Angelina Jolie and Ed Burns, and has developed scripts produced by Steven Spielberg and Sidney Pollack. She is currently working on a script about a female reporter in Iraq, with Ridley Scott attached to direct.
"What About Brian" marks Stevens' first foray into the world of television. She first brought the idea to J.J. Abrams in the summer of 2004, wanting to have the guiding hand of someone who had succeeded in both features and TV. Her goal was to write a funny, sexy show about marriage and single-hood, a modern-day "thirtysomething" meets "Sex and the City."
J.J. ABRAMS, executive producer
Born in New York and raised in Los Angeles, Abrams attended Sarah Lawrence College where, during his senior year, he teamed with a friend to write a feature film treatment. Purchased by Touchstone Pictures, the treatment was the basis for "Taking Care of Business," Abrams' first produced film, which starred Charles Grodin and Jim Belushi. He followed that up with "Regarding Henry," starring Harrison Ford, and "Forever Young," starring Mel Gibson. Abrams then collaborated with producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Michael Bay on the summer 1998 blockbuster, "Armageddon." In 2001 he co-wrote and produced the film "Joy Ride."
In 1998 Abrams made his first foray into television with "Felicity," which ran for four seasons on The WB. He served as the show's co-creator (with Matt Reeves) and executive producer. Under his production company, Bad Robot, he created and executive-produced "Alias" and is co-creator (with Damon Lindelof) and executive producer of "Lost." He is also executive producer of "Six Degrees" on ABC. In 2005 he received Emmys for Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series for the "Lost" pilot as well as Outstanding Drama Series for "Lost." He is also an Emmy nominee for his "Alias" pilot script, as well as his "Lost" pilot script (co-written with Lindelof). Abrams won a Golden Globe Award for Outstanding Drama Series for "Lost." In addition to writing and directing, he composed the theme music for "Alias" and co-wrote the theme song for "Felicity."
On May 5, 2006, Abrams made his feature directorial debut with "Mission: Impossible 3," starring Tom Cruise.
Abrams and his wife have three young children.
BRYAN BURK, executive producer
A graduate of USC's School of Cinema-Television, Bryan Burk began his career working with producers Brad Weston at Columbia Pictures, Ned Tanen at Sony Pictures and John Davis at Fox. In 1995 Burk joined Gerber Pictures, where he developed TNT's Emmy-nominated "James Dean," and is currently attached to produce "NFL: A Love Story."
In 2001 Burk joined J.J. Abrams on ABC's Emmy-winning "Alias," where he served as a co-producer for its entire five-season run. In 2004 he joined Abrams in forming Bad Robot Productions at Touchstone Television, where he is an executive producer on "What About Brian," "Six Degrees" and "Lost" - which has won numerous accolades, including a Golden Globe and Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series.
Burk and Abrams are continuing their partnership in the feature films arena, where they are currently developing "The Saint of Dragons" with producer Peter Guber for Universal Pictures and the newest installment to the "Star Trek" franchise for Paramount Pictures.
Bryan lives... alone.
JOSH REIMS, executive producer
Josh Reims began his career in television as a writer of the award-winning CBS series "Chicago Hope," where he spent three seasons. In 1999 he worked on The WB's "Felicity," where he spent three seasons working closely with the show's creator, J.J. Abrams.
In 2003, Reims became co-executive producer on "American Dreams" for NBC. After two seasons there, he took the same role on the critically acclaimed series "Everwood" for The WB. In 2006 he signed a two-year overall deal with Touchstone to develop and produce television series for the studio. He was recently brought on by J.J. Abrams to be the showrunner and executive producer on "What About Brian."
JONATHAN PONTELL, executive producer
Jonathan Pontell is a native of New York City and attended the School of Visual Arts, studying film and television. After graduating he worked as a film editor on features such as "The Exorcist" and "Lenny," as well as long-form documentaries for CBS News and public television.
Relocating to Los Angeles in 1981, he edited episodic television, including "Hill Street Blues," "Northern Exposure," "Moonlighting" and eventually "L.A. Law," where he began a 16-year association with David E. Kelley. From associate producer on "L.A. Law" he served as producer and director on "Picket Fences" and "The Practice." From 1997 to 2000 he executive-produced and directed multiple episodes of "Ally McBeal." Garnering four Emmy Awards, two Golden Globes and a George Foster Peabody Award on these shows, he continued to executive-produce and direct for David E. Kelley on the Peabody Award-winning "Boston Public" from 2000 to 2004. He was an executive producer of Kelley's first reality program, "The Law Firm," while also serving as a development executive for David E. Kelley Productions. He was the director and executive producer of the pilot "Halley's Comet" for The WB, and recently an executive producer and director on the Fox series "Bones."
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