||This article has an unclear citation style. (September 2009)|
|Born||May 17, 1954|
|Occupation||Television actor, director, producer, writer|
Bryce H. Zabel (born May 17, 1954) is an American television producer, director, writer, and occasional actor. He is known as the chairman/CEO of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences who was forced to twice postpone the Emmy Awards following the September 11 attacks. He has received the "created by" or "developed by" credit of five network and syndicated television series.
With hundreds of hours of produced film and television credits, CNN correspondent-turned-writer-producer-director Zabel has most recently scripted a trio of new mini-series which aired in the U.S. market and were distributed worldwide. They include the medical thriller Pandemic (2007, Hallmark), the pirate adventure Blackbeard (2006, Hallmark), and the disaster epic The Poseidon Adventure (2005, NBC).
In television, Zabel was showrunner (creator or developer/producer/writer) on the UFO-conspiracy series Dark Skies from 1996–1997, The Crow: Stairway to Heaven from 1998–1999 and the Fox African-American superhero series M.A.N.T.I.S. from 1994-1995. He also wrote and produced on Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1993–1994), and The Fifth Corner (1992).
A long-time member of the Directors Guild of America, he first worked as a director on the Los Angeles magazine series "Eye on LA" and Willow: The Making of an Adventure. He is set to make his feature directorial debut in 2009 on Let's Do It, a comedy about the first student film ever produced, back in 1929.
In 2001, Zabel became the first writer/producer to be elected as Chairman and CEO of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, since his boyhood idol Rod Serling. Elected the month before 9/11, he took office at a time when he was forced to twice postpone the 53rd Primetime Emmy Awards. In 2006, he was interviewed about this decision by the Dallas-based Media Orchard :
"In 2001, the Emmys were scheduled for September 16th. So we cancelled them. What else could we do? Five days after 9/11 nobody was going to be in a self-congratulatory mood to celebrate on red carpets with little gold statues when thousands had died so tragically. We re-scheduled for October 7. Incredibly, that's the day the bombing campaign in Afghanistan began. We were forced to cancel again. I went out that morning before some 200 TV cameras with Les Moonves of CBS and we talked to the media about all this. I got a call from a friend who said, "Dude, you've been on TV more this weekend than the president." It was an amazing media carpet ride -- appearances on everything from "Politically Incorrect" to "The Today Show." Anyway, we tried again on November 4 and actually did the show. We were up against the seventh game of an exciting World Series but who cared?"
While leading the TV Academy the next year, he led the negotiations that resulted in the Emmy telecast license fee being increased by 250 percent. He left office in 2003, saying his one term was so eventful it felt like two.
Zabel is currently the lead writer and a producer on Animal Armageddon, an eight-part non-fiction miniseries for Animal Planet. It deals with mass extinction events.
The latest screenplay written by Bryce and Jackie Zabel, Miles From Nowhere completed filming in Los Angeles in the summer of 2008. It is the story of a high school athlete who decides to try for a sub-four-minute mile to deal with the death of a friend. The film stars Treat Williams.
Zabel has also created a film review site, Movie Smackdown, that reviews two related films in competition against each other. The slogan is "Two Films - One Review - No Holds Barred."
Awards and nominations
In 2008, Zabel's Hallmark miniseries Pandemic (co-written with Jackie Zabel) won the Writers Guild of America award in the Original Long Form category. It was the third WGA award Zabel has been nominated for and his first win. Previously, he was nominated for Episodic Drama (L.A. Law; "Justice Swerved") and Original Long Form (Dark Skies; "The Awakening"). His other nominations were shared with David E. Kelley and Brent V. Friedman. Zabel was also nominated for an Edgar Allan Poe award for Best Television Episode (L.A. Law; "Justice Swerved") in 1991. The nomination was shared with David E. Kelley.
Zabel attended high school in Hillsboro, Oregon. He earned a BA degree in broadcast journalism at the University of Oregon in Eugene. After graduation, Zabel stayed in Eugene and worked at television station KVAL-TV and radio station KZEL-FM. He taught as an adjunct professor of a graduate level class on producing at University of Southern California from 2006-2007.
Zabel is married to writer and producer Jackie Zabel whom he met during a news conference in the office of the mayor of Los Angeles. They have three children. One child named Jared Zabel
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- Bryce Zabel's personal website
- Byrce Zabel's LinkedIn profile
- For What It's Worth, Zabel's personal blog
- Movie Smackdown!
- Instant History