Rob Thomas (writer)
Thomas at WonderCon, April 2015
|Born||Robert James Thomas
August 15, 1965
|Pen name||Everett Owens|
|Notable works||Veronica Mars|
Robert James "Rob" Thomas (born August 15, 1965) is an American author, producer, and screenwriter, best known as the author of the 1996 novel Rats Saw God, creator of the critically acclaimed television series Veronica Mars and co-creator of 90210 and Party Down.
Education and early career
Thomas was born in Sunnyside, Washington. He graduated from San Marcos High School in 1983 and went to Texas Christian University (TCU) on a football scholarship. Thomas played 11 games for the TCU Horned Frogs football team in 1984 as a backup tight end and special teams player. He had one interception that season, off a fake punt attempt by Kansas State. He later transferred to the University of Texas at Austin and graduated in 1987 with a BA in history from its College of Liberal Arts.
Before he began writing novels for young adults, Thomas taught high-school journalism at John Marshall High School in San Antonio, Texas, and advised the University of Texas at Austin student magazine. From August 1993 to June 1995 he worked for Channel One News, an experience which informed his 1998 novel Satellite Down. Thomas was a member of three San Marcos, Texas bands — Public Bulletin, Hey Zeus, and Black Irish — from the mid-1980s to the early 1990s.
Thomas's first television writing credit came on a 1996 episode of Cartoon Network's Space Ghost Coast to Coast. He next wrote the script that would eventually become the 1999 film Fortune Cookie. Based on the script, he was offered a job on the writing staff of Dawson's Creek during the show's first season. After reading the same script, then-president of Sony Entertainment Jeff Sagansky suggested Thomas create a romantic comedy pilot. That show soon developed into Cupid, a critically acclaimed 1998 comedy-drama series canceled after 15 episodes in 1999. This led to Thomas being asked to run ABC's 1999 series Snoops, although he left due to creative differences with David E. Kelley before the show aired. After Snoops, Thomas got pilot orders for his U.S. adaptation of the British Metropolis and original script The Sticks, but neither went to series.
Thomas got his second show picked up in 2004 — the critically successful but again low-rated Veronica Mars, which battled low ratings until it was canceled after the third season in 2007. He was offered the showrunner position on NBC's Friday Night Lights in 2006, which he declined in favor of the possibility (and eventual reality) of a third season of Veronica Mars. Thomas was also offered and declined CBS's Viva Laughlin in 2007; he joined ABC's Miss/Guided in May 2007 before leaving in July of the same year, again due to creative differences.
Thomas worked as a writer on ABC's short-lived primetime series Big Shots from 2007 to 2008, co-wrote and shot the comedy pilot Party Down (aired by Starz in 2009, ran for two seasons), and had three pilots ordered for the 2008–2009 television season: a remake of Cupid for ABC, that was picked up to air midseason but soon canceled; Good Behavior, a U.S. adaptation of New Zealand series Outrageous Fortune also for ABC although it never aired, and a modern spinoff of Beverly Hills, 90210 for The CW, which he departed early in favor of his other projects. In February 2009, according to Entertainment Weekly, Thomas fueled rumors of a possible Veronica Mars film."The Veronica Mars Movie Project". Retrieved 14 March 2013.
According to a June 28, 2011 article by Kate Stanhope at TV Guide, Thomas told a group at a Party Down reunion in Texas the preceding weekend that "People are talking to us about doing a Party Down movie, and we are pretty far down the deal-making process with that," and that such a project might shoot in the spring of 2012. A December 16, 2011 piece in Gothamist reported that the movie is coming closer to reality: a treatment has been completed and Adam Scott said the film could shoot in the summer of 2012, although Starz apparently still needs to provide final approval for the project. And a January 8, 2012 piece at The Hollywood Reporter confirmed, "The Party Down movie is a go," and according to Megan Mullally it will shoot in late spring or early summer.
On June 30, 2010, he told Kristin Dos Santos at E! Online that he was "writing a drama pilot set in the world of corporate espionage for Showtime." On January 19, 2011, Thomas revealed the series had not been picked up. On August 25, 2010, Variety reported that NBC has ordered a pilot of a new sitcom, to be called Temp, for which Thomas, Dan Etheridge, and Jon Enbom would be executive producers. On February 10, Thomas announced: "NBC passed on TEMP, unfortunately. Said it skewed 'too young.'" On January 18, 2011, Thomas said that Fox ordered his half-hour single-camera pilot, to be called Little in Common. According to an August 25, 2011 article in The Hollywood Reporter, Little in Common, having failed to receive a pickup for the fall, "is being retooled" and may be broadcast Tuesday nights starting midseason. An October 17, 2011 item at Deadline.com revealed that Fox decided not to air the show. In a wide-ranging interview with Austinist published soon afterward, Thomas discussed the situation, saying, "we really thought this one was going on the air. So it was both surprising and disappointing that it didn't." Thomas has also adapted the screenplay for Drive Me Crazy, and directed On Air, a twenty-minute film adaptation of a story from Doing Time.
On March 13, 2013, Thomas posted a Kickstarter page announcing he had acquired permission from Warner Brothers to proceed with fundraising for a Veronica Mars movie; if the project raised $2 million by April 12, the film would be made. By 6:00 p.m. Pacific Time on the first day, the appeal had already raised over the requisite $2 million in pledges, ensuring a green light for the film, as Thomas also confirmed. The Kickstarter campaign met its goal in less than 11 hours, as an Entertainment Weekly piece noted. Thomas will also be co-author of two novels to be published by Vintage Books once the movie is released; the novels will depict events occurring after those of the film.
- Rats Saw God (1996) (ISBN 0-689-80777-5)
- Slave Day (1997) (ISBN 0-689-82193-X)
- Doing Time: Notes from the Undergrad (1997) (ISBN 0-689-82414-9)
- Satellite Down (1998) (ISBN 0-689-83052-1)
- Green Thumb (1999) (ISBN 0-689-82886-1)
- Veronica Mars: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line (2014) (ISBN 978-0804170703)
- Veronica Mars: Mr Kiss and Tell (2015)
- Space Ghost Coast to Coast (1996) (writer, episode "Explode")
- Dawson's Creek (1998) (writer, season one, episodes "Prelude to a Kiss" aka "Kiss" and "In the Company of Men" aka "Roadtrip")
- Cupid (1998–1999) (creator, writer, executive producer)
- Veronica Mars (2004–2007) (creator, writer, executive producer, director)
- 90210 (2008) (creator, writer)
- Party Down (2009–2010) (creator, writer, executive producer)
- Cupid (2009) (creator, writer, executive producer)
- Good Behavior (2009) (writer, executive producer) (not picked up)
- Plymouth Rock (2010) (creator, writer, executive producer) (not picked up)
- iZombie (2015) (creator, writer, executive producer, director)
- Fortune Cookie (1999) (Writer)
- Drive Me Crazy (1999) (Screenwriter)
- Veronica Mars (2014) (Writer/director) (Kickstarter Project)
Awards and nominations
Thomas has been nominated for several Golden Satellite Awards.
- Cohen, Jason (March 2014). "Mission to Mars". Texas Monthly. Retrieved December 31, 2014.
- "Rob Thomas". sports-reference.com. Retrieved December 31, 2014.
- "Thomas, Rob". encyclopedia.com. Retrieved December 31, 2014.
- "Is a Party Down Movie in the Works?". TV Guide. Retrieved 28 June 2011.
- "Comedy Geeks Rejoice: Party Down Movie Is Happening". Gothamist. Retrieved 19 December 2011.
- O'Connell, Michael. "TCA: Megan Mullally Confirms 'Party Down' Movie Shooting in 2012". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 10 January 2012.
- "Rob Thomas Speaks Out on Party Down Cancellation--Is the Veronica Mars Movie Next?". E! Online. Retrieved 7 July 2010.
- "Rob Thomas tweet, January 19, 2011". Twitter. Retrieved 19 January 2011.
- Schneider, Michael (August 25, 2010). "'Temps' job for party crowd". VARIETY. Retrieved 28 August 2010.
- "'August 28, 2010 tweet by Rob Thomas correcting Variety article". Twitter. Retrieved 29 August 2010.
- "'February 10, 2010 tweet by Rob Thomas". Twitter. Retrieved 10 February 2010.
- "January 18, 2011 tweet by Rob Thomas announcing Fox order". Twitter. Retrieved 18 January 2011.
- Goldberg, Lesley (August 25, 2011). "Heather Graham to Star Opposite Rob Corddry in 'Little in Common'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
- "'Little in Common' Not Going Forward at Fox". Deadline.com. Retrieved 28 October 2011.
- "Rob Thomas, Creator of Party Down and Veronica Mars, Giving You That Thing You Wish You Had Said Yesterday". Austinist.com. Retrieved 28 October 2011.
- "Rob Thomas (II))". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 26 March 2010.
- "The Veronica Mars Movie Project". kickstarter.com. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
- "Seeking Funds for Movie, Creator of 'Veronica Mars' Turns to Kickstarter". nytimes.com. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
- "March 13, 2013 tweet from Rob Thomas". twitter.com. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
- "'Veronica Mars' reaches Kickstarter goal". ew.com. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
- "'Veronica Mars' Gets Book Series Spin-Off (Exclusive)". hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
- "The CW Developing iZombie Drama Series From Veronica Mars Creator Rob Thomas". tvline.com. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
- "The CW Sets Drama Based On DC Comics’ ‘iZombie’ With Rob Thomas, Diane Ruggiero". deadline.com. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
- "Veronica Mars And One Tree Hill Creators Back To Work On CW". Cinemablend.com. 2009-10-15. Retrieved 2013-05-29.
- Official website
- Rob Thomas at the Internet Movie Database
- Rob Thomas at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- Interview on The Sound of Young America, public radio
- Interview by PopGurls
- IFMagazine: Mars Movie?
- Interview on The TV Writer Podcast, Script magazine
- Rob Thomas at Library of Congress Authorities, with 10 catalog records