Mar 012011

TV Writing! A Four Part Series
Sundays, March 6, 13, 20, and 27 at 7:00PM

Nerdist Industries at Meltdown Comics

7522 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046

Join us in a panel discussion with writers from some of the best programs currently on TV. Our professional and hilarious panelists will discuss such topics as creating one’s own work vs. staff writing, business vs. art (and whether it’s always a “vs” situation), long days, stale jokes, breaking new ground, and the looming threat of new media. Panelists will also answer your questions and give tips for breaking into the business. $12 per installment or $36 for the full series Tickets prices are non refundable and panels are subject to change without notice. All proceeds go to 826LA. Click here to purchase tickets. Each Seminar will feature 3-4 writers and, in some instances, include an industry executive. Moderated by Ben Blacker.

Allan Loeb
Phoef Sutton
Rob Roy Thomas
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Emily Cutler
David Fury
Jeff Greenstein
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John Enbom
Dan Harmon
Steven Levitan
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Jane Espenson
Drew Z. Greenberge
Damon Lindelof
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Allan Loeb
(born 1970) is an American screenwriter and film and television producer. He wrote the 2007 film Things We Lost in the Fire and created the 2008 television series New Amsterdam. He wrote the drama film 21, which also was released in 2008. He wrote and produced The Switch which came out in August 2010. He wrote Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, released in September 2010, The Dilemma (January 2011), and Just Go with It coming out in February 2011. He also wrote the film So Undercover starring Miley Cyrus, which is set to come out in late 2011. 

Phoef Sutton started as an actor and playwright in college; he was lucky enough to go to a small liberal arts college in Virginia, James Madison University, which encouraged student playwrights. Phoef was one of the only undergraduates to win the Norman Lear Award for Comedy Playwriting. After graduation, Phoef had plays produced at various regional theaters around the country, had his award winning play Burial Customs selected for publication by the Theatre Communications Group and was awarded a National Endowment for Arts Playwrights Fellowship.


After marrying and moving to Los Angeles, Phoef started his career at the NBC television show Cheers. He stayed with the show for eight years, working his way up from staff writer to executive producer, winning two Emmys and a Writer’s Guild Award. After Cheers, Phoef has produced and created a number of television shows and consulted on others, including NewsRadio and Boston Legal. Recently, he worked on critically acclaimed series Terriers for FX. A particular favorite is of his is the cult comedy Thanks, a sit-com about the Pilgrims starring Cloris Leachman.

He has directed a short film – a suspense tale called ‘Til Death which has been shown at film festivals around the world and received prizes at the Garden State Festival and WorldFest in Houston, Texas. Phoef has also worked for many years as a screenwriter and script doctor. Mrs. Winterbourne, directed by Richard Benjamin was an adaptation of a novel by one of his favorite authors, Cornell Woolrich. The Fan, directed by Tony Scott and starring Robert DeNiro, was an adaptation of the novel by Peter Abrahams. Phoef is also a published novelist – his suspense-romance Always Six O’Clock was published by Putnam and he is currently putting the finishing touches on his second novel, From Away.

Still involved in the theater, he recently co-wrote the musical Songs from the Tall Grass, which was performed at the Ford’s Theater in Washington and other regional theaters around the country. Phoef lives in South Pasadena, California with his wife Dawn and his daughters Skylar and Celia.Rob Roy Thomas created Significant Others to critical acclaim, which is regarded as the first truly unscripted sit-com to be produced for American television. It aired twelve episodes for NBC/Universal’s Bravo TV in 2005, and was followed by Free Ride which aired on Fox television in 2006.

Both Significant Others and Free Ride were filmed multi-camera, on location. These shows were followed by a D.C. pilot for Fox network set in the United States Congress which was also a multi-camera, improvised show.

Rob’s latest projects include Kids, a fully scripted family show that is a departure in both form and content and How to Cheat On Your Wife which is an unscripted comedy for cable.
Before landing in television, Rob Roy Thomas was a comedy director in commercials, a director of photography, had numerous comedy troupes, was a country and western disc jockey, trained in improvisational acting, wrecked a Winnebago and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in radio, television and film.
Rob currently has shows in active development at Fox Television studios and NBC. 

Emily Cutler has worked as a film and TV writer since the late 90’s. Most recent writing/producing television credits include Community (NBC), Carpoolers (ABC), Love, Inc. (UPN), and Entourage (HBO). She has also written a web-series and this bio, which is now in development at a major network. She got into this business for the snacks.

David Fury is a two-time Emmy-award winning writer-producer whose credits include the television series 24 and Lost, as well as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spin-off Angel. He also directed episodes for the latter two series, and appeared on several others, including the Buffy musical “Once More with Feeling” and the Angel puppet episode “Smile Time.” More recently, he was seen in Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-long Blog. Other writer/producer credits include Dream On, The Jackie Thomas Show, Pinky and the Brain, and House of Buggin’. He also scripted a story, “The Glittering World,” for the graphic novel Tales of the Slayer.

Jeff Greenstein is the Emmy-winning writer and producer of Dream On, Friends, Will & Grace, Parenthood and Desperate Housewives, and recently made his directing debut with the Housewives Halloween episode. He grew up in Atlanta, Georgia and attended Tufts University in Boston, where he started out as a computer science major, careened through the art history department, and ended up with a degree in film and dance. This is now the recommended path if one wishes to pursue a rewarding career as a television comedy writer.


John Enbom was raised in Oregon and graduated from Yale University. He has written for Veronica Mars and The Sarah Connor Chronicles and was co-creator and Executive Producer of Party Down.
Dan Harmon serves as creator/executive producer of the NBC comedy series Community.
Harmon’s pursuit of minimal work for maximum reward took him from stand-up to improv to sketch comedy, then finally to Los Angeles, where he began writing feature sreenplays with fellow Milwaukeean Rob Schrab. Their first deal was with Robert Zemeckis at Imagemovers, for whom they wrote Monster House. They then wrote the Ben Stiller directed pilot Heat Vision and Jack, starring Jack Black and Owen Wilson.

Disillusioned by the legitimate industry, Harmon and Schrab retreated underground, during which time Harmon attended classes at nearby Glendale Community College. It was also during this time that Harmon and Schrab founded Channel 101, an untelevised non-profit audience-controlled network for undiscovered filmmakers, many of whom used it to launch mainstream careers, including the boys behind SNL‘s Digital Shorts. Harmon and Schrab then partnered with Sarah Silverman to create her series for Comedy Central, The Sarah Silverman Program. Harmon served as head writer for multiple episodes.
Harmon then created, wrote and performed in a sketch series for VH1 called Acceptable TV; the series was short-lived. Then, as part of a blind deal with Sony and inspiredby his experience as a community college student, Harmon pitched Community to various network executives and NBC picked up the show immediately. Community marks Harmon’s first network series.

Harmon is a native of Milwaukee, Wisc. He’s 38; he has chronic heartburn, a perfect girlfriend, and a cat with no teeth. Wish him luck on this new adventure in life.

Modern Family Co-Creator and Executive Producer Steven Levitan has been writing, producing, directing and creating television comedies for almost twenty years. His credits also include: Just Shoot Me (Creator), Wings, Frasier, The Larry Sanders Show, Greg The Bunny, as well as several “comedies” he swears never happened.

A Chicago native and graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison (The Harvard of Southwestern Wisconsin), Levitan’s honors include three Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award, three Writers Guild Awards, two Humanitas Prizes, a Producers Guild Award, a Directors Guild Award nomination and a two television Critics Association Awards.

Steve’s wife, Krista, and their three children just want him to stop writing down what they say and putting it on television.


Jane Espenson has written for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, The O.C., Gilmore Girls, Dollhouse, Battlestar Galactica, Caprica, and HBO’s upcoming A Game of Thrones among other series. She also co-wrote and executive-produced the Emmy-nominated Battlestar webisodes, and co-created Syfy’s Warehouse 13. She is currently proud to be writing episodes for Torchwood: Miracle Day.
Drew Z. Greenberg has been a writer and a producer on several television shows, several of which were actually seen by the public. His credits include Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Smallville, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and Dexter. He’s currently a co-executive producer on Syfy’s Warehouse 13. He knew he was destined to work in television when, as a child, he used his Star Wars action figures not to recreate battles or lightsaber fights, but rather to act out the opening titles sequence of a Star Wars TV series he envisioned in his head.

Despite being advised that his brain would rot, Damon Lindelof spent the majority of his childhood watching television. After a brief flirtation with movies by way of a film degree from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Damon hopped in his car and traveled west. Treating Los Angeles as a de facto Grad School, Damon worked for a literary agency, Paramount Studios, and finally as a creative executive for producer Alan Ladd Jr. before reminding himself that his true passion was TV.
Shedding his suit and tie for a T-Shirt and Birkenstocks, Damon took a job as a writer’s assistant on Kevin Williamson’s ABC Drama Wasteland. Shortly thereafter, fortune smiled upon him and he was made a staff writer. Shortly thereafter that, misfortune smiled upon him and the show was cancelled. Damon went on to write for CBS staple Nash Bridges for its final season (coincidence?) and then moved on to NBC’s new drama Crossing Jordan where he wrote and produced for three seasons. Then Damon got Lost. Within twelve weeks of complete insanity, he and co-creator J.J. Abrams managed to make a completely weird, ridiculously untenable and vastly expensive pilot for ABC that centered on the survivors of a plane crash in the South Pacific. Despite this, Lost won a Golden Globe and Emmy Award for Best Television Series and Best Drama in its freshmen season. Damon concluded Lost, after six seasons and still doesn’t quite understand what it all meant.
A life long Trekker, Damon also is a producer on J.J.’s Star Trek reboot, which was released in May 2009. Damon is currently writing and producing the sequel to Star Trek and graphic novel adaptation Cowboys and Aliens, with Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, and a movie he promised not to talk about which may or may not involve Sir Ridley Scott. In his spare time, Damon also wrote this Bio.

Ben Blacker (moderator), with his writing and producing partner–named Ben Acker–is the creator of The Thrilling Adventure Hour, a monthly staged production and podcast in the style of old-time radio, starring lots of actors you know from your television. Acker & Blacker have developed pilots for Fox late night, Nickelodeon, USA, and Fox primetime. They wrote the feature film Drones, a sci-fi rom-com, available on DVD in March 2011. Currently, they are developing a pilot for the Spike network and writing a film for a company they can’t talk about. For more information and pretty pictures, go to


  4 Responses to “826LA Writing Series for Adults @MeltdownComics: TV Writing! A Four Part Series”

  1. When I click on the link to purchase the tickets, it says that the event has ended. Will the tickets go up soon?

  2. I’m iquiring about some info. about attending comedy writing class. I have 4 years of amature comedy writings and hundreds of pages of material. I always get compliments on facebook in regards to my hilarity and I am ready for the next step. Please send me an email. I hope to here from you. Thank, Tim Wilcxon