Jed Mercurio (born 1966) is a British television writer-producer-director and novelist. He is reported to be one of the few British script-writers to work as a US-style showrunner. A former hospital physician and RAF officer, in December 2013, Mercurio was ranked among UK television's leading writers by TV-industry magazine Broadcast.
His chief works for television are the series Line of Duty, Bodies (based on his 2002 novel), The Grimleys and Cardiac Arrest. His books are Bodies (2002), Ascent (2007), American Adulterer (2009) and, for children, the Penguin Expedition (2003).
Mercurio was born in Nelson, Lancashire but grew up in Cannock, Staffordshire. He graduated from the University of Birmingham Medical School in 1991 and practised as a hospital doctor. While still a medical student, he joined the Royal Air Force and underwent pilot training with the intention of specialising in aviation medicine. Instead, after replying to an advertisement placed in the British Medical Journal and despite negligible writing experience, Mercurio scripted the BBC medical drama Cardiac Arrest under the pseudonym John MacUre, after which he has continued a writing career under his own name.
Mercurio's writing debut, Cardiac Arrest, caused controversy due to its revisionist depiction of hospital life, though the series was twice nominated in the Best Original Drama category by the Writers' Guild of Great Britain and topped a poll of UK medical professionals as the most realistic medical drama of all time. Mercurio served as medical advisor on the second series of Cardiac Arrest, which he cites as his apprenticeship in producing/directing.
He adapted his first novel, Bodies, into an award-winning television series. Mercurio carried out the producer/show-runner position on Bodies for the first time, a role he has fulfilled on all his subsequent original series. The Times ranked Bodies in "Shows of the Decade" and The Guardian placed it in "The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time." The series won the Royal Television Society Award for Best Drama Series, was twice nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Drama Series and Mercurio was also twice nominated as Best Drama Writer by the Royal Television Society.
His critically acclaimed second novel, Ascent, was ranked among 1000 Novels Everyone Must Read. Mercurio's current television series, Line of Duty, premiered as BBC2's best-performing drama series in 10 years with over 4 million viewers and earned Mercurio his third nomination as Best Drama Writer by the Royal Television Society; a second series (first broadcast 12 February 2014) achieved widespread public and critical acclaim, resulting in the BBC commissioning two further series for broadcast in 2015 and 2016. In April 2014, Line of Duty was named in the Top 50 BBC2 Shows of All-Time.
- Cardiac Arrest (1994–96)
- The Grimleys (TV film) (1997)
- Invasion: Earth (1998)
- The Grimleys (TV series) (1999–2001)
- The Legend of the Tamworth Two (2004)
- Bodies (2004–2006)
- Frankenstein (2007)
- Strike Back (2010)
- Line of Duty (2012–)
- Critical (in production)
- Lady Chatterley's Lover (announced)
- Bodies (2002)
- The Penguin Expedition (2003)
- Ascent (2007)
- American Adulterer (2009)
- Ascent (graphic novel – with Wesley Robins) (2011)
Awards and nominations
|1994||Writers' Guild of Great Britain||Best Original Drama Serial||Cardiac Arrest||Nominated|
|1996||Writers' Guild of Great Britain||Best Original Drama Series||Cardiac Arrest||Nominated|
|2003||Sheffield Children's Book Awards||Shorter & Longer Novel||The Penguin Expedition||Nominated|
|2004||Royal Television Society||Best Drama Series||Bodies||Nominated|
|2004||Royal Television Society||Best Drama Writer||Bodies||Nominated|
|2004||BAFTA||Best Drama Series||Bodies||Nominated|
|2005||Royal Television Society||Best Drama Series||Bodies||Won|
|2005||Royal Television Society||Best Drama Writer||Bodies||Nominated|
|2005||BAFTA||Best Drama Series||Bodies||Nominated|
|2012||Crime Thriller Awards||The TV Dagger||Line of Duty||Nominated|
|2013||Broadcast Awards||Best Drama Series or Serial||Line of Duty||Nominated|
|2013||Broadcasting Press Guild Awards||Best TV Drama||Line of Duty||Nominated|
|2013||South Bank Sky Arts Award||TV Drama||Line of Duty||Nominated|
|2013||Royal Television Society||Best Drama Series||Line of Duty||Nominated|
|2013||Royal Television Society||Best Drama Writer||Line of Duty||Nominated|
|2014||Freesat Awards||Best TV Drama||Line of Duty||Won|
- Gilbert, Gerard (18 May 2014). "Meet the showrunners". The Independent.
- Albiston, Isabel (24 February 2007). "The World of ...". The Telegraph.
- "Broadcast Hot 100 2013". broadcastnow.co.uk. 5 December 2013.
- Jed Mercurio filmography at the International Movie Database, IMDb.com, retrieved 6 October 2013
- Jed Mercurio Author Profile at Rogers, Coleridge & White Literary Agency website, Rcwlitagency.com, retrieved 6 October 2013
- Jed Mercurio biography at the Internet Movie Database, IMDb.com, retrieved 6 October 2013
- Jed Mercurio Author Profile at Amazon, Amazon.com, retrieved 6 October 2013
- Brown, Maggie (10 February 2014). "Line of Duty's Jed Mercurio". The Guardian.
- Llewellyn-Smith, Julia (23 March 2014). "Line of Duty:'Sometimes justice is not done in the real world'". Telegraph.
- Curtis, Chris (20 September 2012), Jed Mercurio: taking aim at the target culture, Broadcastnow.co.uk, retrieved 6 October 2013
- Dillner, Louise (23 April 1994). "Frightening realism". The British Medical Journal.
- "Cardiac Arrest at the International Movie Data Base".
- "Top of the TV Medics". BBC Online. 9 November 1999.
- Myerson, Julie (6 April 2002). "Close to the Bone". The Guardian.
- Royal Television Society Programme Awards 2005, Rts.org.uk, retrieved 6 October 2013
- Lusher, Tim (12 January 2010). "The Top 50 TV Dramas of All Time". The Guardian.
- "Bodies at the International Movie Data Base".
- Faber, Michel (10 March 2007). "Rocket Man". The Guardian.
- "1000 Novels Everyone Must Read". The Guardian. 22 January 2009.
- Curtis, Chris (20 September 2012). "Jed Mercurio: taking aim at the target culture". Broadcastnow.co.uk. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
- "Line of Duty at the International Movie Data Base".
- Moir, Jan (17 March 2014). "Is Line of Duty the best cop show ever?". Daily Mail.
- Sweeney, Mark (8 April 2014). "Line of Duty set to return for third and fourth series". Guardian.
- Hogan, Michael et al (18 April 2014). "The Top 50 BBC Two shows of all-time". The Telegraph.
- John Plunkett (27 January 2014). "Line of Duty's Lennie James to Star in Sky 1 Jed Mercurio Drama". theguardian.com.
- Plunkett, John (24 April 2014). "Line of Duty's Jed Mercurio to pen TV adaption of Lady Chatterley's Lover". The Guardian.