Any television series that you watch on whatever screen you have was made by a lot of people. That is just the nature of how most productions, whether on television or in a theater, are. A lot of people will try to make as best of a piece of media as they can. It’s so hard to count how many people are involved in a television series. Depending on the scale of it, you have at least fifty or so people involved in a production. Actors, whether lead, supporting or background, are normally the ones you see on your screen. But behind them are production people who set up lights, camera, even the set, the people who operate the equipment and most especially the writers. Without writers, they wouldn’t really have anything to shoot.
It’s a lot more common in productions in the United States to credit the people who thought of the idea of the series upfront. If you watch sitcoms, you’d often get the “Created by” credit usually at the end of the title sequence. Aside from creating the series that you’re watching, they’re also heavily involved in hiring other people to join their writing staff, coordinating with the production on what the show needs for a particular episode, casting the people to play the part. They play an integral in making sure that the production is running smoothly and their vision of the show becomes realized.
One such person who done a lot of work as a writer for television is Ian Brennan. You are likely to know his work more than him. And that’s normal. Often, creators and writers don’t often get that much attention when it comes to their work. It makes sense that the people you see more of onscreen are the ones who are easily recognizable. Even then, Ian Brennan has done a bit of acting work before he co-created a television series. Seeing as he dreamt of being an actor when he was a teenager, it’s great that he managed to do what he set out to do. But his career path changed after those initial acting stints.
You have probably heard of the musical television series “Glee.” That show was basically Ian’s first major writing credit. It’s weird that I’m underselling it a bit, I know. But Glee was basically Ian’s idea. It was partly inspired by his time in his high school’s show choir. Part of the pilot revolved around a Spanish teacher who took over the glee club because its previous director was fired for sexual misconduct. The part where the club director getting fired for inappropriate behavior was based on an actual thing that happened in his former high school in 2005. That was the moment where Ian decided to take a chance at writing a screenplay about it.
Like any writer in Los Angeles, it’s very hard to sell your script to production companies. That’s just a thing that happens a lot in the industry. But sometimes, it’s great to just befriend people in the industry you want to work in. Fortunately for him, his friend Mike Novick happened to be a member of a gym where Ryan Murphy—yes, that Ryan Murphy—just so happens to be a member. Somehow, Mike managed to get Ryan to read Ian’s script. Weirdly enough, Ryan also had experience in show choir during his college years so the script resonated a bit with him. It seems that Ryan was interested in the story so he got his collaborator Brad Falchuk involved.
Sometimes, things change from the first draft. In the case of Glee, Ian had to rewrite the script based on Ryan and Brad’s suggestion that Glee should be adapted for television. Instead of having just one complete story, the first script for the series would serve as the jumping point for the entire story. In production terms, that’s called a pilot script. Since Ryan and Brad were involved, the show managed to get picked up to become a series.
The show ran for six seasons, which wasn’t really a lot, but for a musical comedy series, that was a triumph. Ian is pretty a collaborator of Ryan Murphy nowadays. After Glee, he co-created the series Scream Queens which ran on Fox for two seasons. It’s no wonder that Ian Brennan has a net worth of about $25,000,000. He still collaborates a lot with Ryan Murphy in some of his other shows.
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