Carlton Cuse

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Carlton Cuse
Carlton Cuse David Shankbone 2010.jpg
Cuse at the 2010 Time Magazine 100 Gala.
Born Arthur Carlton Cuse
(1959-03-22) March 22, 1959 (age 55)
Mexico City, Mexico
Nationality American
Occupation Executive Producer
Screenwriter

Arthur Carlton Cuse[1][2] (born 22 March 1959) is an American screenwriter and producer, most famous as executive producer and screenwriter for the American television series Lost for which he made the Time Magazine list of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2010.[3] Cuse is also considered a pioneer in transmedia storytelling.[4]

Early life[edit]

Cuse was born in Mexico City, Mexico on March 22, 1959. His parents, Susan and Arthur Robert Cuse, were American, and his father was working in Mexico for Cuse's grandfather, who had a machine tool manufacturing business.[5][6][7] Cuse's paternal grandparents were Latvians, of Baltic German heritage.[8][9] After a few years in Mexico City, his parents moved to Boston, where as a boy, he instantly bonded with the Boston Red Sox and began a lifelong love for the team. A few years after the move to Boston, his dad took a job in Tustin, California. Cuse was raised a Roman Catholic.[10]

Cuse went off to boarding school in 10th grade to The Putney School in Putney, Vermont. The school was on a working dairy farm, and placed a strong emphasis on an education in the arts, music and the outdoors. It was at The Putney School, Cuse said, that he realized he wanted to be a writer.[5]

Cuse attended Harvard University (Class of '81) and was recruited at freshmen registration by the freshman crew coach, Ted Washburn, and became part of the rowing team. In his words, he became "a hardcore athlete." Cuse's original plan was to attend medical school but he instead majored in American history.[11]

During his junior year at Harvard, Cuse organized a test screening for the makers of the Paramount film Airplane!. The producers wanted to record the audience reaction to time the final cut of the jokes in the movie. Cuse said that was when he started thinking about a career in film.[12]

Starting out in Hollywood[edit]

Cuse teamed up with a Harvard classmate, Hans Tobeason, and made a documentary about rowing at Harvard called Power Ten. He convinced actor, writer and fellow Harvard graduate George Plimpton to narrate the film. After graduating, Cuse headed for Hollywood, and worked as an assistant to a studio head, then as a script reader. By working as a reader, he said, he learned screenwriting.

In 1984, Cuse took a job working as an assistant producer for Bernard Schwartz and then spent a year and a half working on Sweet Dreams, directed by Karel Reisz, starring Jessica Lange and Ed Harris. He described the experience as his version of film school.[5]

First writing job[edit]

Through a friend, David Burke, Cuse was hired as a writer on the Michael Mann series Crime Story. In 1986, Cuse wrote two teleplays for the series.[13]

Feature films[edit]

Cuse then formed a partnership with feature writer Jeffrey Boam. Working with Boam, Cuse helped develop the films Lethal Weapon 2, Lethal Weapon 3, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and San Andreas.[14]

Television series[edit]

The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. (1993 - 1994)[edit]

Because of his involvement with Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, an executive at Fox, Bob Greenblatt, asked Cuse and Boam if they would be interested in doing a television version of the old movie serials. Cuse said yes and wrote The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr., about a Harvard-educated bounty hunter who wants to avenge the death of his father, the most famous lawman in the Old West. Fox gave the go ahead for the series. Brisco also had a science fiction element, in the form of a mysterious orb which appears in several episodes. Boam went back to making features, leaving Cuse to co-create and executive produce the critically acclaimed series. Afterwards, Cuse gave much of the credit for the show's success to actor Bruce Campbell who played Brisco County Jr., the lead character.[5]

Cuse at Comic-Con 2007.

Nash Bridges (1996-2001)[edit]

After Brisco, Cuse met Don Johnson, who had a commitment from CBS to make a new series. With Johnson's blessing, Cuse went off and wrote the pilot for Nash Bridges. Johnson liked it and CBS did too, ordering 14 episodes off the script without making a pilot. Nash Bridges was the first series that Les Moonves greenlit as the head of CBS. It ran for six seasons and 121 episodes.[15]

Martial Law (1998)[edit]

Cuse created and executive produced the CBS series Martial Law, starring Arsenio Hall and Sammo Hung Kam-Bo, one of martial arts legend Jackie Chan's closest friends and collaborators. Cuse adapted the world of Hong Kong cinema to American television in a story about a Shanghai cop who comes to the LAPD on an exchange program. A team of eight top Chinese stuntmen and coordinators out of Hong Kong were hired. Stanley Tong, who had directed many of Jackie Chan's biggest Hong Kong features, directed the pilot. Sammo Hung became the first Chinese actor to star as the lead in an American TV series.[5] Cuse was running both Martial Law and Nash Bridges simultaneously. The workload became creatively and physically difficult, which led to him leaving Martial Law. and focus exclusively on Nash Bridges. Another factor, Cuse said, were creative differences with Sammo Hung about the future direction of Martial Law.[5]

Black Sash (2003)[edit]

Cuse executive produced the short-lived series Black Sash on The WB, a show about a San Francisco cop, Tom Chang, played by Russell Wong who was framed for a crime and sent to prison. Chang gets out and returns to San Francisco and opens a martial arts dojo. The show didn't make it, but Black Sash writers Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz were the first writers hired on Lost. Later, Cuse adapted the Chinese symbol for Ba gua, a form of martial arts used on Black Sash, as the Dharma Symbol on Lost.[5]

Lost (2004-2010)[edit]

Cuse was an executive producer and joint showrunner on Lost with Damon Lindelof. They met in the sixth season of Nash Bridges. Cuse hired Lindelof, giving him his first staff writer job on a TV series. A few years later Lindelof and J. J. Abrams wrote the pilot for Lost. Shortly after the Lost pilot was shot, Abrams left the show to do Mission Impossible 3 with Tom Cruise. Lindelof had no experience as a showrunner and called Cuse for showrunning advice on the side. He then asked Cuse to come work on the show.[16]

The Cuse/Lindelof partnership was very productive. They wrote roughly a third of the episodes together as well as working together on rewrites, story meetings, editing and casting. Cuse said, "A great partnership can lead to great TV. In the case of Lost it worked out great; I could not have had a better partner than Damon."[5]

Impact of Lost[edit]

In 2009, Cuse and Lindelof received the prestigious George Foster Peabody award for Lost. The Peabody Board cited Lost for “breezily mixing metaphysics, quantum physics, romance and cliffhanger action in a genre-bending series about a group of air-crash survivors on a mysterious island. ‘Lost’ has rewritten the rules of television fiction.”[17]

Cuse said that Lost "showed that it was possible on network TV to tell a highly complex, serialized narrative with intentional ambiguity‚ leaving the audience room to debate and discuss the meaning and intentions of the narrative‚ and still find a large audience."[5]

Virtual communities sprung up around the show and new media technology allowed fans to interact with each other and form a community. The rise of social media occurred simultaneously with Lost. It allowed people around the world to not only debate and discuss the show but also work together and pool their resources to generate content like Lostpedia, a fan-created encyclopedia about the show. They also created Lost University. Viewers who bought Lost on Blu-ray could take courses at Lost U. on Lost related subjects like time travel, and Lost fans who become experts became the instructors of those courses.

Transmedia in Lost[edit]

Cuse says he wanted to use other media to tell stories that would never make it onto the network show. Cuse and Lindelof created the first ARG (Alternative Reality Game) that connected as a narrative into a network TV show. Cuse believes this ARG redefined the way in which the Internet and a TV show could be integrated, and broke new ground in how a TV show could be marketed.[18] Lost was also the first TV network series show to create original content for mobile phones.[5] Their last ARG, Dharma Wants You‚ won an Emmy in 2009 for Creative Achievement in Interactive Media. Dharma Wants You utilized a “variety of media platforms including websites, exclusive video, interactive games, Bluetooth, mobile, TV, VOIP, social networks, and complex real-world events involving hundreds of thousands of fans worldwide.”[19]

Cuse said that Hollywood is only beginning to accept new technologies like transmedia, and, for the most part is still trapped in the past.[20]

Cuse and Lindelof hosted a Lost podcast where they discussed the show—regularly the #1 podcast on all of iTunes. They also did a series of comedic videos sponsored by Verizon called Lost Slapdown, and were guests on shows like Jimmy Kimmel Live! and the Late Show with David Letterman. They participated in a New York Times Talk that was simulcast in over 400 theaters in the US and Canada.[5]

Future of Lost[edit]

Disney owns Lost and, at their discretion, may someday do another TV series or feature film based on the concept and characters of the show. However, both Cuse and Lindelof have said that they would not be part of any future plans for Lost and wanted their work to stand entirely on its own.[21]

Current work[edit]

Cuse is currently the showrunner of Bates Motel with Kerry Ehrin, a writer from Friday Night Lights. Cuse and Ehrin are executive producers. The series is described as a "contemporary prequel" to Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. The show is aired on A&E, with the first season consisting of ten episodes. Actor Vera Farmiga, who plays Norma Bates, was nominated for an Emmy for her work on the show, which broke records for A&E as their top rated original series in all key demos for its first season. After strong ratings and positive reviews, A&E renewed the series for a ten episode second season, which will premiere on March 3, 2014.[22]

Cuse is currently the showrunner of The Strain, a vampire horror TV series created by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan. He also serves as writer and executive producer of the show.[23]

Cuse and Secretariat director Randall Wallace are currently co-writing a pilot script for the ABC network and ABC Studios, a Civil War-era show set in Virginia called Point of Honor . Cuse and Wallace were introduced to each other through their representative, WME's Ari Greenburg. According to Variety, ABC is very committed to Point of Honor and views it as a "major event series" to be developed outside the normal pilot season schedule. Cuse and Wallace have been working on the concept since September 2010.[24]

Cuse also serves on the advisory board of second screen technology company i.TV, which is the parent company of GetGlue.[25]

Awards[edit]

Awards[edit]

Cuse has been nominated for ten Primetime Emmy awards for his work on Lost and has won twice: first in 2005 for Outstanding Drama Series, then in 2009 for Creative Achievement in Interactive Media. Cuse, along with Lindelof received three nominations for the Golden Globe Award including a win for Best Television Series in 2005; five nominations by the Producers Guild of America with a win in 2006 for Television Producer of the Year Award in Episodic Drama; three nominations and wins by the American Film Institute; twelve nominations by the Television Critics Association, including two wins in 2005 for Outstanding Achievement in Drama and Outstanding New Program, a tie for Outstanding Achievement in Drama in 2008, and a win in that category in 2010. There were four nominations from the Writers Guild of America including a win in 2006 for Best Dramatic Series, and five Saturn Award nominations with four wins in 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2009 for Best Network Television Series. Cuse also received nominations from the NAACP Image Awards, the Hugo Award and the People’s Choice Award. In 2007, Cuse shared the BAFTA Award for Best International for Lost. In 2009, He won the Peabody Award for “rewriting the rules of television fiction,” The Jules Verne Festival Award, The Roma Fiction Fest Special Award and a GQ 2009 Men of the Year Award. Finally in 2010, he was voted one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. He also won the TV Guide Award for Martial Law which was voted the Favorite New Series in 1999.[26]

Primetime Emmy Awards[27][edit]

Year For Category Episode Result Nominees
2005 Lost Outstanding Drama Series Won J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof, Carlton Cuse, Bryan Burk, Jack Bender, David Fury, Jesse Alexander, Javier Grillo-Marxuach, Sarah Caplan, Leonard Dick, Jean Higgins
2006 Lost Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series "The 23rd Psalm" Nominated Shared with Damon Lindelof
2007 Lost Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series "Through the Looking Glass" Nominated Shared with Damon Lindelof
2008 Lost Outstanding Drama Series Nominated J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof, Carlton Cuse, Bryan Burk, Jack Bender, Edward Kitsis, Adam Horowitz, Drew Goddard, Stephen Williams, Jean Higgins, Elizabeth Sarnoff, Pat Churchill, Ra’uf Glasgow
Lost Outstanding Special Class - Short-Format Live-Action Entertainment Programs "Lost: Missing Pieces" Nominated Shared with: Damon Lindelof, Barry Jossen
2009 Lost Outstanding Drama Series Nominated J.J. Abrams, Jack Bender, Bryan Burk, Carlton Cuse, Adam Horowitz, Edward Kitsis, Damon Lindelof, Jean Higgins, Elizabeth Sarnoff, Stephen Williams, Paul Zbyszewski, Pat Churchill, Ra'uf Glasgow, Brian K. Vaughan
Lost Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series "The Incident" Nominated Shared with: Damon Lindelof
Lost Creative Achievement in Interactive Media "Dharma Wants You" Won Shared with: Damon Lindelof
2010 Lost Outstanding Drama Series Nominated
Lost Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series "The End" Nominated Shared with: Damon Lindelof

Golden Globe Awards[28][edit]

Year For Category Result
2005 Lost Best Television Series Won
2006 Lost Best Television Series Nominated
2007 Lost Best Television Series Nominated

TV Guide Awards[29][edit]

Year For Category Result
1998 Martial Law Favorite New Series Won

Producers Guild of America Awards[30][edit]

Year For Category Result Nominees
2006 Lost Television Producer of the Year Award in Episodic Drama Won J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof, Bryan Burk, Jack Bender, Jean Higgins & Carlton Cuse
2007 Lost Television Producer of the Year Award in Episodic Drama Nominated J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof, Carlton Cuse, Bryan Burk, Jack Bender, Jean Higgins, Edward Kitsis, Adam Horowitz & Liz Sarnoff
2008 Lost Television Producer of the Year Award in Episodic Drama Nominated Damon Lindelof, Jack Bender, Elizabeth Sarnoff, Drew Goddard
2009 Lost Television Producer of the Year Award in Episodic Drama Nominated Jack Bender, Carlton Cuse, Drew Goddard, Jean Higgins, Edward Kitsis, Adam Horowitz, Damon Lindelof, Liz Sarnoff, Stephen Williams & Ra’uf Glasgow
2010 Lost Television Producer of the Year Award in Episodic Drama Nominated Damon Lindelof, Carlton Cuse, Edward Kitsis, Adam Horowitz, Jack Bender, Jean Higgins, Elizabeth Sarnoff, Paul Zbyszewski, Stephen Williams & Ra'uf Glasgow

American Film Institute[31][edit]

Year For Category Result
2004 Lost Best television programs Won
2005 Lost Best television programs Won
2008 Lost Best television programs Won

Television Critics Association Awards[32][edit]

Year For Category Result
2005 Lost Outstanding Achievement in Drama Won
Lost Outstanding New Program Won
Lost Program of the Year Nominated
2006 Lost Outstanding Achievement in Drama Won
Lost Program of the Year Nominated
2007 Lost Program of the Year Nominated
2008 Lost Program of the Year Nominated
Lost Outstanding Achievement in Drama Nominated
2009 Lost Outstanding Achievement in Drama Tie
Lost Program of the Year Nominated
2010 Lost Outstanding Achievement in Drama Won
Lost Heritage Award Nominated

Writers Guild of America Awards[33][edit]

Year For Category Result Other notes
2006 Lost Dramatic Series Won J.J. Abrams, Kim Clements, Carlton Cuse, Leonard Dick, Paul Dini, Brent Fletcher, David Fury, Drew Goddard, Javier Grillo-Marxuach, Adam Horowitz, Jennifer M. Johnson, Christina M. Kim, Edward Kitsis, Jeffrey Lieber, Damon Lindelof, Lynne E. Litt, Monica Macer, Steven Maeda, Elizabeth Sarnoff, Janet Tamaro, Christian Taylor and Craig Wright
2007 Lost Dramatic Series Nominated J.J. Abrams, Monica Owusu-Breen, Carlton Cuse, Leonard Dick, Drew Goddard, Javier Grillo-Marxuach, Adam Horowitz, Dawn Lambertsen-Kelly, Christina M. Kim, Edward Kitsis, Damon Lindelof, Steven Maeda, Jeff Pinkner, Matt Ragghianti, Elizabeth Sarnoff and Alison Schapker
2009 Lost Dramatic Series Nominated Carlton Cuse, Drew Goddard, Adam Horowitz, Christina M. Kim, Edward Kitsis, Damon L. Lindelof, Greggory Nations, Kyle Pennington, Elizabeth Sarnoff and Brian K. Vaughan
2010 Lost Dramatic Series Nominated Carlton Cuse, Adam Horowitz, Melinda Hsu Taylor, Edward Kitsis, Damon Lindelof, Greggory Nations, Kyle Pennington, Elizabeth Sarnoff, Brian K. Vaughan and Paul Zbyszewski

Saturn Award[34][edit]

Year For Category Result
2004 Lost Best Network Television Series Won
2005 Lost Best Network Television Series Won
2006 Lost Best Network Television Series Nominated
2007 Lost Best Network Television Series Won
2009 Lost Best Network Television Series Won

Other Awards[edit]

Year Award For Category Result Other Notes
2006 NAACP Image Awards[35] Lost Outstanding Drama Series Nominated
2007 BAFTA[36] Lost Best International for: "Lost" Won J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof, Carlton Cuse & Jack Bender
2009 Hugo[37] Lost Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form for "The Constant" Nominated
Jules Verne Award[38] Lost Festival Award Won
Peabody[39] Lost "For rewriting the rules of television fiction.” Won
People's Choice Awards[40] Lost Favorite TV Drama Nominated
Roma Fiction Fest[41] Lost Special Award Won
GQ[42] Lost One of the 2009 Men of the Year Won
2010 Time Magazine[3] Lost 100 Most Influential People in the World Won

Lost episodes (as writer)[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Amistad: Magazine of American Society of Mexico - Google Books
  2. ^ Carlton Cuse | News | The Harvard Crimson
  3. ^ a b Poniewozik, James (April 29, 2010). "Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof". The 2010 TIME 100—Artists (TIME). Retrieved 2014-03-28. 
  4. ^ Fox TV joins US networks to block Google TV By Maggie Shiels (2010). BBC.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Interview with Carlton Cuse By Gregg Sutter (2010).
  6. ^ Anglo-American directory of Mexico - Google Books
  7. ^ "Nuptials In August For Nancy' Shumway". The New York Times. May 2, 1954. 
  8. ^ "The Vilcek Foundation Celebrates Lost". The Vilcek Foundation. p. 22. ISBN 9780615369174. Retrieved March 28, 2014. 
  9. ^ Five Down, No Glory: Frank G. Tinker, Merenary Ace in the Spanish Civil - R. Hall - Google Books
  10. ^ I"LOST" AND FOUND By Tony Rossi (2008).
  11. ^ Carlton Cuse By Reed B. Rayman, The Harvard Crimson (6/5/2006).
  12. ^ 15 Questions with A. Carlton Cuse ’81 By TOBIAS S. STEIN and LOGAN R. URY. The Harvard Crimson, 3/4/2010.
  13. ^ Carlton Cuse - Internet Movie Database
  14. ^ Produced By - 2009 Conference Carlton Cuse Biography
  15. ^ The long 'Lost' interview with Lindelof and Cuse, Part 2: The Squeakquel The Chicago Tribune, January 24, 2010
  16. ^ 'Lost' soul mates By Bill Keveney, USA TODAY 10/4/2006.
  17. ^ ABC: 'Lost' By Allison J. Waldman
  18. ^ Transmedia Storytelling in Television 2.0 by Aaron Smith, THESIS FOR MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE, SPRING 2009
  19. ^ Dharma Wants You Wins Primetime Creative Arts Emmy
  20. ^ Lost and Heroes producers: Hollywood still trapped in the past
  21. ^ Is Lost Here to Stay? by Michael Schneider, Variety, 1/8/2010
  22. ^ Keck's Exclusives: Michael Vartan Checks in to Bates Motel - Today's News: Our Take | TVGuide.com
  23. ^ Ng, Philiana (November 21, 2013). "FX's 'The Strain' Casts 'Harry Potter's' David Bradley to Replace John Hurt". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 22, 2013. 
  24. ^ ABC sets civil war skein, Carlton Cuse, Randall Wallace partner on history tale By Cynthia Littleton, Variety 11/22/2010
  25. ^ "Carlton Cuse and Gordon Ho Appointed to i.TV Advisory Board". i.TV Blog. September 13, 2012. 
  26. ^ TV Guide Awards Internet Movie Database.
  27. ^ Primetime Emmys Database
  28. ^ Hollywood Foreign Press Association
  29. ^ TV Guide Awards
  30. ^ Producers Guild of America Awards
  31. ^ American Film Institute Awards
  32. ^ Television Critics Association Awards
  33. ^ "Writers Guild of America Award". Archived from the original on 2012-05-25. 
  34. ^ The Saturn Awards
  35. ^ NAACP Image Awards
  36. ^ British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards
  37. ^ The Hugo Awards
  38. ^ The Jules Verne Festival website
  39. ^ The Peabody Award Website
  40. ^ People's Choice Awards
  41. ^ Roma Fiction Fest
  42. ^ JJ Abrams & Crew Named GQ Men of the Year

External links[edit]