Ali LeRoi is the Emmy Award winning executive producer/director of the syndicated hit TBS series “Are We There Yet?” Based on the film of the same name, Ali partnered with Joe Roth of Revolutions Studios, Ice Cube, and Matt Alvarez of Cubevision, and developed the show for television in the ground breaking 10/90 production model. After an initial run of 10 on-air episodes, TBS was impressed enough by ratings to green- light a 90 episode pickup. Ali LeRoi is the only other producer/director other than Tyler Perry to have successfully produced a complete series order in this model.
Ali is also the co-creator of the critically acclaimed syndicated comedy “Everybody Hates Chris”, a series inspired by the childhood experiences of comedian Chris Rock. The groundbreaking series proved to be a perfect fusion, of comedy, story-telling, and style, garnering Ali a Golden Globe nomination for Best Comedy Series, NAACP Image Awards for Best Writing and Best Directing, a WGA Award nomination for best writing, and an AFI TV Program of the Year Award.
Ali also partnered with Chris Rock on some of Rock’s most successful early film outings, including producing and co-writing the visionary comedy “Head of State”, a satire about a young black community organizer rising through a complex political landscape to become the first African-American President of the United States of America. LeRoi and Rock also partnered writing and producing romantic comedy “Down to Earth” (one of Rock’s most successful starring vehicles to date), as well as producing cult favorite “Pootie Tang” (written and directed by Louis C.K.)
Although Ali is most comfortable in his positions of television showrunner and director (helming some 50 episodes of his series) he occasionally lends his voice or musical talents to his productions, having voiced several characters and written pieces of music for several episodes of the series and films he’s produced, as well as having appeared in sketches on camera as a writer and producer on HBO’s seminal “The Chris Rock Show”. A former stand-up comic, Ali toured extensively and wrote volumes of material for his close friend, the late Bernie Mac, before transitioning into television, where his career took off.
Ali is currently developing a new slate of projects, as well as pursuing his passion for photography (he is compiling works for a gallery show) as well as playing bass in several local bands backing some of his professional musician friends. A Chicago native, Ali has been married for over 20 years and has two sons.
Dr. Neal Baer is Executive Producer of the NBC television series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. During his tenure, among the awards the series has won include the Shine Award; People’s Choice Award, the Prism Award, and the Media Access Award, and actors on the show have won four Emmys and the Golden Globe. The series regularly appears among the top ten television dramas in national ratings.
Prior to his work on SVU, Dr. Baer was Executive Producer of the NBC series ER. A member of the show’s original staff and a writer and producer on the series for seven seasons, he was nominated for five Emmys as a producer. He also received Emmy nominations for Outstanding Writing in A Drama Series for the episodes “Hell and High Water” and “Whose Appy Now?” For the latter, he also received a Writers' Guild of America nomination.
Dr. Baer’s other work includes "Warriors," an episode of China Beach, nominated for a Writers' Guild Award for best episodic drama, and the ABC Afterschool Special Private Affairs, which he directed and wrote. The Association of Women in Film and Television selected the program, dealing with sexually transmitted diseases, as the Best Children’s Drama of the Year. He wrote The Doctor Corps, a feature film for Twentieth Century Fox; Outreach, a pilot for the WB Network, which he also produced; The Edge, a pilot for CBS; and The Beast, a pilot for NBC. He is presently writing and producing a six-hour mini-series for HBO on the world AIDS pandemic and the plight of AIDS orphans with Sir Elton John executive producing.
Dr. Baer graduated from Harvard Medical School and completed his internship in Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles. He received the Jerry L. Pettis Memorial Scholarship from the American Medical Association as the most outstanding medical student who has contributed to promoting a better understanding of medicine in the media. The American Association for the Advancement of Science selected him as a Mass Media Fellow.
Dr. Baer's primary medical interests are in adolescent health. He has written extensively for teens on health issues for Scholastic Magazine, covering such topics as teen pregnancy, AIDS, drug and alcohol abuse, and nutrition. Dr. Baer taught elementary school in Colorado and also worked as a research associate at USC Medical School, where he focused on drug and alcohol abuse prevention. Recently, Dr. Baer co-established the Institute for Photographic Empowerment at USC’s Annenberg School of Communications, which links photographic story-telling projects around the world and makes that work available to NGOs and policymakers. He has worked in South Africa and Mozambique since 2006, teaching photography to mothers with HIV and to AIDS orphans so that they can tell the world their own stories.
Dr. Baer graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in Political Science from Colorado College. He holds master’s degrees from Harvard Graduate School of Education and from Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in Sociology. Before working in television, he spent a year at the American Film Institute as a directing fellow. In 2000, he received an honorary Doctor of Laws from Colorado College.
Dr. Baer serves on the boards of many organizations related to health care, including the Venice Family Clinic (the largest free clinic in the U.S.), RAND Health, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Children Now, and the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS). He is a trustee of the Writers Guild of America Health and Pension Fund, a member of the Board of Associates at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, a trustee of Colorado College and an elected member to Harvard University’s alumni board. He is also Co-Chair of the CDC and Gates Foundation-supported, Hollywood Health and Society.
Dr. Baer received the Valentine Davies Award in 2004 from the Writers Guild of America, West for “public service efforts in both the entertainment industry and the community at large, bringing dignity to and raising the standard for writers everywhere.” In 2003 he received the Special Individual Achievement Award from the Media Project; the Leadership Award from NOFAS; the Loop Award from Lupus LA for educating the public about lupus and autoimmune diseases; the Socially Responsible Medicine Award from Physicians for Social Responsibility for “accomplishment in crafting compelling health messages;” and the Feminist Majority Foundation for promoting global woman’s rights on television. Dr. Baer lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Gerrie Smith, and his son Caleb, 18, who will be attending Williams College in the fall.
Tom Fontana has written and produced such ground breaking television series as St. Elsewhere, Homicide: Life On The Street, Oz and The Philanthropist. His most recent production, Borgia, was filmed in Prague. He will begin filming Copper for BBC America in January 2012. He has received, among others, three Emmy Awards, four Peabody Awards, three Writers’ Guild Awards, four Television Critics Association Awards, the Cable Ace Award, the Humanitas Prize, a Special Edgar and the first prize at the Cinema Tout Ecran Festival in Geneva.
Fontana wrote the HBO film Strip Search, directed by Sidney Lumet, as well as contributed two pieces to the September 11th special America: A Tribute to Heroes. He was the executive producer of American Tragedy for CBS, Shot in the Heart and You Don’t Know Jack for HBO Films, as well as the documentary The Press Secretary for PBS and the independent films Jean, In Good Conscience and Anytown USA.
Fontana has written articles for such periodicals as The New York Times, TV Guide and Esquire and has taught at Columbia, Syracuse, Rutgers and the State University College at Buffalo, his alma mater, from which he received the Distinguished Alumni Award and an Honorary Doctorate of Letters.
Fontana has had numerous plays produced in New York, where he lives, and at San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theatre, the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, the Buffalo Studio Arena Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival and McCarter Theatre Company. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild, the Producers Guild of America, the Friars Club, the Players Club, the American Theatre Wing and the Writers Guild of America, East, from which he received both the Evelyn F. Burkey Award and the Richard B. Jablow Award.
Fontana serves on the boards of Stockings with Care, the WGAE Foundation, The NYPD Police Museum, DEAL, The Creative Coalition, The Acting Company, The Williamstown Theatre Festival and Center for Creative Voices in Media.
Hart Hanson is creator and show-runner of the Fox television series “Bones”, in it’s sixth season and “The Finder” which premiers in January.
Prior to creating “Bones” and “The Finder”, Hart was Executive Producer of the Emmy nominated CBS tv series “Judging Amy” followed by “Joan of Arcadia” which won the Humanitas, Peoples’s Choice Award, and the AFI Program of the Year Award. Hart was Co-Excecutive Producer of the ABC series “Cupid” and “Snoops”. Hart has worked under a longtime overall deal with 20th Century Fox.
Before moving to the United States a decade ago, Hart wrote and produced a number of indigenous Canadian series including “Beachcombers”, “North of 60”, “The Odyssey”, “Ready or Not”, “The Road to Avonlea”, “Cold Squad”, “Stargate”, “the Outer Limits”, garnering several Gemini nominations and four wins along the way. Hart won the Writers Guild of Canada Award for best writing in a television series for “Traders” and then executive produced the multi-award winning seasons Two through Four.
Pilots written for 20th Century Fox include: “Palm City”, “Expert Witness”, “Zuma”, “Buzz”, and “Pleading Guilty”.
Hart graduated from University College, University of Toronto, with degrees in Political Theory and English and received his Master degrees in Political Theory and English and received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of British Columbia. He taught as an Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia.
He lives with his wife Brigitte and two sons in Malibu.
Marshall Herskovitz is a writer, producer, and director in Los Angeles who has won many awards for his work in television and film. Born in Philadelphia, he attended Brandeis University, then moved to Los Angeles in 1975, where he attended the American Film Institute and met his longtime creative partner Edward Zwick. In the years since he helped create such series as thirtysomething, My So-Called Life, and Once and Again. Among the films he has produced are Legends of the Fall, Traffic, The Last Samurai, Blood Diamond and, currently in production, Love and Other Drugs. He also directed Jack the Bear and Dangerous Beauty.
In 2007 Herskovitz migrated to the Internet with quarterlife, the ground-breaking online series and social network dedicated to artistic, activist twentysomethings. A year after launch, the website – www.quarterlife.com – has become an international destination with members in 60 countries, and the series is now the most successful scripted program in Internet history.
Herskovitz, a longtime environmentalist, has served on the board of several organizations dedicated to preserving America’s precious natural resources. He is a founding member of the national 1Sky campaign.
He is currently serving as President of the Producers Guild of America.
Carol Mendelsohn has been the Showrunner/Executive Producer on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation since the pilot episode. This fall, the show began its tenth season as the number-one scripted drama series on television. She is also a Co-Creator/Executive Producer of CSI: Miami and CSI: NY.
As a producer, she has been nominated for multiple Emmys; WGA Awards; Golden Globes; Producers Guild Awards and the prestigious Edgar Allen Poe Award. Additionally, she is a three-time People’s Choice Award winner.
Originally from London, Ontario, David Shore graduated from the University of Toronto Law School in 1982, was called to the Ontario Bar in 1984 and practiced law until 1991 when he resigned his partnership at what he still considers to be a prestigious Toronto firm and moved to Los Angeles where he did nothing for three years. But since his first staff writing position on Due South, David has been fortunate enough to work on many of television’s most respected shows. He wrote episodes of NYPD Blue and EZ Streets, served as head writer and supervising producer on Traders, which he helped develop for Canadian television, and was part of the writing team of the first season of The Practice. Shore was twice nominated for an Emmy as a writer-producer on Law & Order. He executive produced both Family Law and Hack before creating House.
House has been Emmy nominated four times for best dramatic series. It has won a Peabody award and Shore won the Humanitas Prize and an Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series for his House episode “Three Stories.” David Shore and House have also used their influence to raise awareness and money for a variety of causes, including partnering with NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Issues) by selling charity tee shirts online. House has also been honored by the American Red Cross, the Lupus Foundation of America, the Vasculitis Foundation, and The Valley Free Clinic. David Shore is a trustee of the Humanitas Foundation and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Writer’s Guild of America West. He was recently honored by the Venice Family Clinic with their 2009 Humanitarian Award and Ve’ahavta with the 2009 Award of Philanthropy.
John Wells is one of the most prolific writers, directors and producers for television, film and the stage. Over the past two decades, Wells has been a creative force behind some of primetime’s biggest hit series, including ER, The West Wing, Third Watch and China Beach. He is currently Executive Producer of the hit NBC crime drama, Southland.
Shows produced by John Wells have received an astounding 267 Emmy® nominations with 55 Emmy wins, not to mention 5 Peabody Awards, and numerous People's Choice Awards, Producers Guild Awards, a HUMANITAS Prize (nominated 7 times), as well as numerous distinctions from health care organizations across the country for ER. During its fifteen year run, ER earned 122 Emmy nominations, the most in television history.
A seven-time Writers Guild Award nominee, in 2007, Wells received the WGA’s prestigious Paddy Chayefsky Television Laurel Award, given to writers who have advanced the literature of television and made outstanding contributions to the profession of television writers. In 2005, Wells was awarded the David Susskind Achievement Award in Television from the Producers Guild of America.
Wells and his team at John Wells Productions have a number of high-profile films in various stages of production and development.
Wells recently wrote and directed The Company Men, a drama set against the backdrop of affluent Boston suburbs that vividly portrays the struggles of families coping with the current ongoing economic meltdown. The film marks Wells’ feature film directorial debut with an extraordinary ensemble cast including Academy Award® winners Ben Affleck, Kevin Costner, Tommy Lee Jones and Chris Cooper, as well as Emmy winner Craig T. Nelson and Golden Globe nominee Maria Bello.
As a producer, Wells' most recent motion-picture credits include: Carroll Ballard's critically-acclaimed drama Duma, a children's film starring Hope Davis and Campbell Scott; Peter Kosminsky's adaptation of Janet Fitch's critically acclaimed novel White Oleander, starring Alison Lohman, Robin Wright Penn, Michelle Pfeiffer and Renée Zellweger; and Neil Jordan's The Good Thief, starring Nick Nolte. Wells also served as a producer on Andrzej Bartkowiak's Doom, based upon the popular video game and starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
In an arrangement unique to the business, John Wells Productions also funds Killer Films, the independent operation of Christine Vachon, Pam Koffler and Katie Roumel. For Killer Films, Wells executive produced Todd Haynes' innovative Bob Dylan biopic I'm Not There, Tom Kalin's Savage Grace, Douglas McGrath's Infamous, Mary Harron's The Notorious Bettie Page and Phyllis Nagy's Mrs. Harris for HBO, which garnered several Emmy nominations. Also in collaboration with Killer Films was Todd Haynes' Far From Heaven, Mark Romanek's One Hour Photo, Todd Graff's Camp, Fenton Bailey's Party Monster, Robert Altman's The Company, Michael Mayer's A Home at the End of the World and John Waters' A Dirty Shame.
As a TV producer, Wells’ diverse projects include series SMITH, The Evidence and Jonny Zero, as well as telemovies Dark Shadows (2004) and The Big Time (2002). Wells’ award-winning stage productions include Judgement, Balm in Gilead, Battery and She Also Dances.
Wells served as President of the Writers Guild of America, West (1999-2001) and was vital to the success of the 2001 MBA contract negotiations.
Born in Alexandria, Virginia, and raised in Denver, Colorado, Wells graduated from Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with a bachelor of fine arts and later earned a Masters degree in film and television at the University of Southern California, where he also serves on the school’s Television Executive Advisory Council.
John Sacret Young began his television work on the Emmy winning Best Drama series, Police Story, and has since created, written, or Executive Produced six additional series and multiple pilots, mini-series and movies of the week.
He co-created with William Broyles, Jr., wrote, and executive produced the ground-breaking series, China Beach. For his work on the show, John received five Emmy and four Writer's Guild Award nominations. The WGA honored him with the Award for an episode he also directed.
The West Wing brought him two more Emmy and two more WGA nominations.
In total Young has been nominated for seven Emmys and seven Writers Guild of America Awards.
John won his second WGA Award for the mini-series, A Rumor of War.
He's also written and produced feature films and has been honored with two Christopher Awards for the Academy Award nominated Testament starring Jane Alexander and Kevin Costner, and the film Romero with Raul Julia and Richard Jordan.
Several times nominated, Young's the holder as well of a Golden Globe, a Peabody Award, and John's original mini-series about the Gulf War, Thanks of a Grateful Nation, was honored with his fifth Humanitas Prize nomination as a writer and second win. As a producer he has four additional Humanitas awards.
Young's book, REMAINS: Non-Viewable was a Los Angeles Times best seller.
Elmore Leonard said of it, "Young writes so well his memoir works as a novel. He brings to life real people in dramatic situations, with indelible grace and the restless energy of emotions that even the passage of time cannot quell." Scott Turow wrote, "A compelling portrait of many worlds, Yankee New England, Vietnam and Hollywood, and of high adventures, antic moments, and the cycles of love and grief. Every page is wrought with indelible grace and the restless energy of emotions that even the passage of time cannot quell." The LA Times' Susan Salter Reynolds said, "Every family should be blessed by a historian as compassionate and wise as JSY." And, Steve Weinberg from The San Francisco Chronicle told his readers, "Like the rest of the memoir, the title is poignant, subtle and brilliant.... Want to study compelling prose? Read Young. Almost every sentence is perfectly crafted.... This book contains something for just about any thinking reader."
In reviewing John's first novel THE WEATHER TOMORROW, The New Yorker called him "a writer of effortless dexterity and a true, unaffected originality . . . The story he tells cuts right to the bone." Newsweek's Jean Strouse heralded it, "...An exceptionally fine first novel." Art Seidenbaum of the Los Angeles Times said, "This is serious, touching, original fiction." And The Los Angeles Herald Examiner's Digby Diehl proclaimed, "A brilliant debut by an L.A. novelist. Young is the first new voice in decades that might be compared to the young William Faulkner...What a rarity to discover a new Los Angeles writer whose control of language is precise and confident, whose sentences sparkle and glide and zoom."
Young has lectured at USC, UC Santa Barbara, the Lyndon Johnson and Bill Clinton Presidential Libraries, and taught at Princeton University. He has contributed pieces to the book Doing It for the Money, Written By magazine, the Los Angeles Times, and the Washington Post. As well he has written extensively about American art.
He is on the board of the Firestone Library at Princeton, the Humanitas Awards, and the Writers Guild Foundation.
Presently, partnered as Executive Producer with Robert Redford, he's written Generations, a pilot for TNT, which he will also direct.
Zwick moves deftly between the roles of writer, director and producer. He was nominated for a Golden Globe for his direction of the 1989 critically acclaimed Civil War drama, Glory. He received his second Golden Globe nomination as a director for Legends of the Fall. Zwick received an Academy Award as one of the producers of Shakespeare in Love, as well as a second nomination for Traffic. His most recent project, which he wrote, directed and produced was the feature film The Last Samurai. He continues to work with his partner, Marshall Herskovitz, at their company Bedford Falls where they created thirtysomething, My So-Called Life and Once and Again.
Eric Andrews, CSP continued a 50-year tradition of "The Hollywood Priest" begun by Fr. Ellwood "Bud" Kieser, CSP when he stepped into the role of President for Paulist Productions in September 2009. His credits include a three year production staff position with The Jim Henson Company working on productions including Down at Fraggle Rock: Behind the Scenes and The Ghost of Faffner Hall for HBO, The Jim Henson Hour an NBC series and Free to Be…A Family, an ABC Special.
As President of Paulist Productions, Fr. Eric has had the honor of overseeing the completion of The Lost Valentine, the top rated television movie produced in association with the Hallmark Hall of Fame starring Betty White and Jennifer Love Hewitt. It aired on CBS Television January 2011. He also served as host and producer on Living the Eucharist, a video presentation series distributed to Catholic parishes across the country. Currently Fr. Andrews and his team are developing scripted and non-fiction projects that inspire, inform, and entertain for broadcast, cable and new media outlets, in the tradition of the acclaimed TV series Insight and feature film Romero that Fr. Kieser produced.
Ordained a Paulist Father for seventeen years, Fr. Eric has previously ministered as a parish priest in New York City and as a priest/TV producer in Washington D.C. at Paulist Media Works. Immediately before coming to Los Angeles, he served as campus pastor at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Born and raised in the Hudson Valley, he completed his Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts in 1987 at New York University Film School and received his Masters of Divinity at the Catholic University of America in 1994.
In addition to his work at Paulist Productions, Fr. Eric assists at St. Paul the Apostle Church in Westwood and at Corpus Christi Church in Pacific Palisades. He also serves on the board of Catholic Charities of Los Angeles. He is honored to continue the Paulist legacy on the Board of Directors of the Humanitas Prize.