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Bryce Zabel Poster

Biography

Jump to: Mini Bio (1)  | Family (1)  | Trivia (22)  | Personal Quotes (2)

Mini Bio (1)

CNN correspondent-turned-screenwriter Bryce Zabel has been the creator and show runner of prime time series, written produced feature films, run the TV Academy, taught at USC, won the WGA award, authored a book and introduced on-air such celebrities as Walter Cronkite and Tom Hanks.

Every pilot ever written by Zabel that has been produced has also gone on to series. He has received the Writers Guild on-screen "created by" or "developed by" credit on five TV drama series including: NBC's Emmy-winning (main titles) science fiction series Dark Skies (1996), FOX's African-American superhero show M.A.N.T.I.S. (1994); the syndicated comic/film adaptation The Crow: Stairway to Heaven (1998), CTV's newsroom drama E.N.G. (1989) and CBS's medical franchise Kay O'Brien (1986). His other series work includes L.A. Law (1986); Life Goes On (1989) and Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1993). Three of his series have been major DVD box set releases.

In 2008, Zabel received the Writers Guild of America (WGA) award for writing his third four-hour Hallmark mini-series, _Pandemic (2007)(mini)_, the story of a killer influenza which forces the quarantine of Los Angeles. HIs other mini-series work includes the Hallmark pirate adventure _"Blackbeard" (2006) (mini)_, and NBC's The Poseidon Adventure (2005).

From 2001 to 2003, Zabel served as Chairman/CEO of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the first writer/producer elected to this position since his boyhood idol, Rod Serling. He presided over the most tumultuous and transformational time in Academy history, taking office at a time when 9/11 forced the cancellation of the prime time Emmys not once, but twice. He also led the negotiations which resulted in a 250% increase in the Emmy telecast license fee. Previously, he served on the Writers Guild Board of Directors.

In the world of features and long-form, he has received writing credit on two produced films, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997) (which opened as #1 at the box office) and the Disney animated film, Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001). His spec script Official Denial (1993) became the first original movie produced by the SyFy Channel. He also launched the "Unsolved Mysteries" movie franchise with an NBC film, Victim of Love: The Shannon Mohr Story (1993).

Prolific as a writer on his own, Zabel has also worked in collaboration with other writers over the years, including Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee, multi-award winning TV writer/producer David E. Kelley, Babylon 5 (1993) creator J. Michael Straczynski, his own wife Jackie Zabel and feature writer Brent V. Friedman.

He became a book author in 2010 with the publication of A.D. After Disclosure: The People's Guide to Life After Contact, written in collaboration with UFO historian Richard M. Dolan.

Twice nominated by the WGA for outstanding screen-writing, Zabel's work has also been nominated by the Mystery Writers of America, Environmental Media Association and LA Area Emmy Awards. His nominated work includes the fan-favorite L.A. Law (1986) where Jimmy Smits' character defends baby-killers who get away with murder and the Dark Skies (1996) pilot about the Kennedy assassination which launched the NBC Saturday night programming concept.

Zabel began his career as a television news reporter in both Oregon and Arizona. He came to Los Angeles as an on-air correspondent for CNN where he covered presidential campaigns and space shuttle landings, among other stories. He met his wife in the office of the LA mayor during a news conference. As an on-air PBS reporter, he won several awards of his own for investigative journalism. He was one of the original group of producer/directors on ABC's cutting edge reality magazine series, "Eye on LA".

Zabel started his screen-writing career by combining that passion for journalism and television into his first script, E.N.G. (1989) and it changed his life. The spec pilot about "electronic news gathering" (TV news) launched 108 episodes of the hour drama for the CTV network, led to an overall development deal as a writer/producer for Orion TV.

Zabel is an accomplished public speaker, appearing on each of the three Emmy shows in which he served as the TV Academy leader. He has also been a guest on The Today Show, Good Morning America (1975), Politically Incorrect (1993), Entertainment Tonight (1981), Access Hollywood (1996), etc. and been quoted in Time, USA Today, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post. As an essayist, he has written for Daily Variety, Television Week, The Los Angeles Times, the WGA's Written By and Emmy Magazine.

Aside from his Emmy activities, in the world of "live" production, he recently produced a three-hour comedy/musical stage show hosted by Fred Willard before 1100 dinner guests to launch the University of Oregon's $600-million fund-raising campaign.

He also served as an adjunct professor at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, teaching a graduate level producing class, "Produce or Perish." He is a member of the DGA, WGA, AFTRA and ATAS.

Zabel attended high school in Hillsboro, Oregon and college at the University of Oregon in Eugene where he graduated with a BA degree in Broadcast Journalism.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Morse Taylor

Family (1)

Spouse Jackie Zabel (23 June 1984 - present)  (3 children)

Trivia (22)

Chairman/CEO, Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
Elected to Writers Guild of America Board of Directors. [2000]
Came to Los Angeles originally as an on-air correspondent for CNN.
Launched hour dramas on ABC, CBS, NBC and FBC.
All produced TV pilots have gone to series.
Introduced Tom Hanks on the 2002 Emmy Awards, and Walter Cronkite on the 2003 Emmy Awards.
In 1991, Zabel was hired to write the pilot script "No Limits" for Michael Filerman Productions and FBC. After "Melrose Place" aired in 1992, producer Filerman filed a claim which was ultimately settled. During and after, Zabel continued to work on other projects for FBC.
Kicked-off a $600-million fund-raising campaign for his alma mater the University of Oregon when he produced a three-hour music-comedy-variety show on an indoor football field which was converted into a Hollywood awards ceremony.
Father was a World War II veteran and history teacher of "American Problems." The Harvey J. Zabel scholarship was created in his memory and is awarded to this day.
Worked on multiple projects with Stan Lee after first collaborating on an NBC television pilot, "Missing Link.".
He and Rod Serling are the only writers ever to be elected to lead the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
His son, Jonathan, played "Young Jay Leno" on "The Tonight Show" over a period of several years.
While researching his first TV series about a New York surgeon, scrubbed in and observed a real nine-hour surgery for a gunshot victim at New York's Bellevue Hospital.
Created "Movie Smackdown!" -- an Internet film review concept which compares movies in the theaters against similar films out on DVD and declares a winner -- writing his own reviews and editing those of a dozen other critics.
Won multiple awards for Investigative Journalism for his work at the Los Angeles PBS station, KCET, for a report about an eye doctor who performed unnecessary cataract surgeries on the elderly.
Optioned material which won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Journalism a full nine-months before it won the award. The material became "Fall From Grace," a script for USA Network.
On "Lois & Clark," wrote the episode where Clark first returned to Smallville and had his first brush with Kryptonite. "The Green, Green Glow of Home" was voted a fan favorite from the first season.
In Germany, taught a "Writers Room" for MediaXchange at Action Concept in Cologne where aspiring German television writers worked to apply the lessons of United States TV to their own market.
Introduced Jon Stewart at a special Academy of Television Arts & Sciences event celebrating "The Daily Show" held in New York City.
Sold classic editions of Marvel Comics, like Spiderman #1 and X-Men #1, to finance a college trip to Europe that he never took.
Twice invited to the White House to consult on television issues during his tenure as chairman of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
Producer Aaron Spelling and Universal optioned the first script written by Bryce and Jackie Zabel as a husband/wife writing team, "Labor of Love." The script, about a pregnancy, was written while they were pregnant with their first child.

Personal Quotes (2)

We searched high and low to find the funniest people in California who weren't running for governor. It wasn't easy, but we've found a dozen of them and, the best thing is, none of them are going to ask you for a campaign contribution.
Many millions of viewers from more than 90 different nations are watching tonight. They see us exercising our freedom to assemble, and proclaiming the fundamental ideal that inspires all artists, freedom of expression. So let history record that the 53rd Annual Emmy Awards stood up to fear, stood up to hate, and celebrated the American spirit.

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