Michael went to school in New York before taking a creative writing course. The professor for this course told everyone, "There are enough bad writers out there. There needn't be anymore". Michael recalls that the professor would rip up his writing and he would be so broken-hearted. This professor eventually chased him into journalism, where Michael won two Emmys for his work as a news producer. Michael went back to New York for a few years before seeing a "Chorus Line" show and deciding to pursue his writing career. He originally came back to Los Angeles as a censor for CBS in the late seventies. He eventually started writing spec scripts for such TV series as Simon & Simon (1981) and Cagney & Lacey (1981) before landing a role as a producer on Simon & Simon (1981). He worked his way through the producer ranks and jumped from series to series before being called in by long-time friend, Maurice Hurley, who was, at the time, writing and producing episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987). Michael wrote a few episodes for season three (1989-90) before becoming a full-fledged Executive Producer. In 1992, Piller and Rick Berman (who was also Executive Producer) decided to create a new series based in the "Star Trek Universe". Thus, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993) was created. Piller oversaw the writing, casting, budget, etc. for two season before Paramount called him in again to create a new series after Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) ended in 1994. Star Trek: Voyager (1995), created by Jeri Taylor, Pillar and Rick Berman, was born into the television universe, as the flagship for the new United Paramount Network (UPN), running until 2001. Piller left Star Trek: Voyager (1995) in 1996, after nine years of working in the Star Trek franchise. He created the ill-fated, but critically-acclaimed, western for UPN called Legend (1995), starring Richard Dean Anderson and John de Lancie. Also in 1996, Piller successfully sold his first feature film script entitled, "Oversight" (1998). It has yet to be produced. In 1997, he co-wrote Star Trek: Insurrection (1998), with Rick Berman, which was released in 1998. His most successful post-Trek outing was developing the Stephen King property, "The Dead Zone", along with his son Shawn Piller, for television. Piller died from cancer on November 2, 2005.
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