I just came across this much-too belated video. Belated meaning it's from February 15, 2015. But belated or not, it's well-deserved. I've mentioned my friend Jeff Melvoin here several times, most notably for his work on the great series, Northern Exposure, though he's done a whole lot more. And last year he was given the Morgan Cox Award by the Writers Guild of America. That's for service to the Guild by a member, which in Jeff's case is largely centered on him creating and running the Showrunners Training Program, to help develop the people who are in charge of television series.
Jeff comes to this from a great deal of experience. He began as a reporter for Time magazine, but eventually switched careers. He was on the writing staffs of such shows as Remington Steele, Hill Street Blues and Northern Exposure (serving in various producing capacities, as well), and eventually became a writer and the showrunner in charge, as executive producer of Picket Fences, Alias, and Army Wives. He also wrote and was executive producer of a couple of TV movies, Intrigue and Outpost. And more.
Among his other important credentials are being a Cubs fan and not just a fan of the Chicago Bears, but opening his home, known on the occasion as Melvoin Stadium, for watching the games, at least when he's not pissed off at the team for sucking eggs and losing. His parents and mine were friends for many years back in the Chicago suburbs, and I even worked with his sister one summer with the oft-mentioned Ravinia Music Festival -- though I didn't realize it until a few years ago when I was looking through an old program, and they listed the office staff. I don't suspect that any of this played a part in Jeff getting the Morgan Cox Award, though I like to believe so. Much the same way that I believe Jeff gave J.J. Abrams a career boost when Jeff took over from him as showrunner for Alias.
This video below will not likely be of the highest interest to most people, but because I've mentioned Jeff enough here, and because he's such a wonderful guy and so well-deserving, I thought some people might be interested in seeing of whom I speak. Besides, it's only seven-minutes long, including the very funny introduction. (Side note: when Jeff thanks his wife and mother, the camera on cuts only to his mother. But earlier in the video it does cut several times to an unidentified woman in the audience, and that's the wonderful Martha, who deserves far more time than Jeff...)
Doing a fun job Introducing Jeff is the writer Bill Lawrence, who created the series Spin City and one of my all-time faves, Scrubs. But then it's Jeff''s turn. And now you'll know, this is him --
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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