Ian Brennan (writer)

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Ian Brennan
Brennan at the San Diego Comic-Con International in July 2011
Brennan at the San Diego Comic-Con International in July 2011
Born (1978-04-23) April 23, 1978 (age 44)
Mount Prospect, Illinois, U.S.
  • Screenwriter
  • producer
  • director
  • actor
(m. 2016)

Ian Brennan (born April 23, 1978) is an American screenwriter, director and actor. He is known for his work on the American television shows Glee, Scream Queens, The Politician, and Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.

Early life[edit]

Brennan is the son of John and Charman Brennan.[1] He is Irish Catholic and his father was a Paulist priest.[2][3] Brennan spent four years at Prospect High School in Mount Prospect, Illinois during the mid-1990s, and was a member of the school show choir, which he did not find particularly enjoyable. He was friends with actress Jennifer Morrison. Brennan aspired to be an actor, and as his high school musical director was also the show choir director, he joined the choir to enhance his chance of being cast in musical productions. Brennan credits his high school theatre director John Marquette for inspiring him to act. The character Will Schuester in Glee is partially based on Marquette. Brennan went on to study theatre at Loyola University Chicago.[4] He graduated in 2000,[5] and acted for a time in Chicago, studying at The Second City Training Center and working with the Steppenwolf and Goodman Theatres,[6] before moving to New York City to continue his acting career.[5] He has performed in off-Broadway plays at the Vineyard, Playwrights Horizons and MCC Theatres.[6] His early writing experience was limited to sketch pieces in high school and college plays he describes as "terrible".[4]


Brennan conceived the idea for Glee based on his own experience as a member of the Prospect High School show choir. He explained: "I find it interesting that there is something in everybody, a longing for something transcendent, particularly in a place like Mt. Prospect, a place that's very suburban and normal and plain. Even in places like that, there's this desire to shine. That's fascinating and very funny to me, especially when people try to accomplish this through show choir – which, to me, is inherently a little ridiculous."[4] In 2005, a choir director at Prospect High was accused of inappropriate behavior with a student and was later convicted of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.[5] Brennan was inspired by these events,[6] and in August 2005, purchased a copy of Screenwriting for Dummies and wrote the first draft of Glee, initially envisioned as a film rather than a television series.[4] He completed the script in 2005, but could not generate interest in the project for several years.[5]

Mike Novick, a television producer and a friend of Brennan's from Los Angeles, was a member of the same gym as writer and producer Ryan Murphy, and gave him a copy of Brennan's script.[7] Murphy had been in a show choir while at college, and as such felt he could relate to the script. Murphy and his Nip/Tuck colleague Brad Falchuk suggested that Glee be adapted to a television show format.[4] The script was entirely re-written,[5] and was picked up by Fox within 15 hours of being received. Murphy and Falchuk became the show's executive producers and showrunners, while Brennan is a co-executive producer and Novick is a producer.[8] Brennan, Falchuk and Murphy wrote all of the show's episodes in the first two seasons,[9] and were nominated for two 2010 Writers Guild of America Awards for Glee, with nominations in the Best Comedy Series and Best New Series categories.[10] Glee concluded after its sixth season, which aired in early 2015.

Brennan, Falchuk and Murphy created Scream Queens, a comedy-horror series set on a college campus and in a hospital, that aired from September 2015 to December 2016,[11] and starred Emma Roberts, Ariana Grande, Lea Michele, Keke Palmer, Abigail Breslin,[12] and Jamie Lee Curtis.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Brennan lives in both New York City and Los Angeles. He married actress Trilby Glover in September 2016 and the couple have two children, Blaise (born in April 2016) and Juno (born in August 2018).[14][15][16][17]


Film and television
Year Title Format Role Notes
2000 Early Edition Television series Valet Episode "Everybody Goes to Rick's"
Too Much Flesh Film Bert
2002 No Sleep 'til Madison Film Dave
2006 Flourish Film Dr. Carter Kaufman
Growing Short film Writer, actor (Jeremy)
Save the Last Dance 2 Direct-to-DVD film Franz
2007 I Think I Love My Wife Film Department Store Salesman #1
Law & Order: Criminal Intent Television series Lance Morein Episode "Renewal"
CSI: NY Television series Joe Silver Episode "Buzzkill"
2008 New Amsterdam Television series Chris Duncan Episode "Keep the Change"
2009 Glee Television series Co-creator, writer, narrator, director
Staten Island Film Hippie in Tree
Infamous Video game Voice
2011 The Glee Project TV program Judge
2014 Cooties Film Writer, actor (Vice Principal Simms)
2015 Scream Queens Television series Co-creator, writer, director
2018 LA to Vegas Television series Writer Episode: "#PilotFight"
2019–2020 The Politician Television series Co-creator, writer, director
2020 Hollywood Limited series Co-creator and writer
2020–present Ratched Television series Writer
2021 Halston Limited series Writer
2022 Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story Limited series Co-creator and writer
The Watcher Limited series Co-creator and writer
Year Title Role Theatre
1999 Saturday Night[18] Gene Gorman O'Rourke Center for the Performing Arts, Chicago
Finian's Rainbow Performer Marriott Theatre, Chicago
2005–2006 The Man in the White Suit[18] Performer Martel Theatre, Poughkeepsie, New York and Beckett Theatre New York City


  1. ^ Naqvi, Jameel (January 18, 2010). "Suburban-tied 'Glee' a big winner at Golden Globes". Daily Herald. Retrieved January 19, 2010.
  2. ^ Barnes, Brooks (October 22, 2010). "The Nice Guy Who Puts the Mean into 'Glee'". The New York Times.
  3. ^ "The Catholic behind Glee".
  4. ^ a b c d e Mastony, Colleen (September 8, 2009). ""Glee Club" TV series creator uses Mt. Prospect high school for inspiration". Chicago Tribune. Tribune Company. Retrieved January 19, 2010.
  5. ^ a b c d e Arado, Matt (May 19, 2009). "Mount Prospect native helped create new Fox show 'Glee'". Daily Herald. Archived from the original on February 20, 2012. Retrieved January 19, 2010.
  6. ^ a b c "Ian Brennan". Fox Broadcasting Company. Archived from the original on January 17, 2010. Retrieved January 19, 2010.
  7. ^ Fernandez, Maria Elena (April 26, 2009). "Will TV audiences watch with 'Glee'?". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 1, 2009.
  8. ^ Schneider, Michael (July 23, 2009). "Fox greenlights 'Glee' pilot". Variety. Reed Business Information. Retrieved January 19, 2010.
  9. ^ Silver, Curtis (December 7, 2009). "We're All Gleeks — 10 Questions for Glee Co-Creator Brad Falchuk". Wired. Condé Nast Publications. Archived from the original on December 25, 2011. Retrieved January 19, 2010.
  10. ^ "2010 WGA Awards TV Nominees Announced" (Press release). Writers Guild of America. December 14, 2009. Archived from the original on January 29, 2010. Retrieved December 15, 2009.
  11. ^ "Ryan Murphy & His 'Glee' Co-Creators Get Fox Series Order For Comedy-Horror Anthology 'Scream Queens'". Deadline. October 20, 2014.
  12. ^ "Meet All of the "Scream Queens"!". Bloody Disgusting. December 8, 2014.
  13. ^ "Emma Roberts, Jamie Lee Curtis join Ryan Murphy's 'Scream Queens'". Entertainment Weekly. December 8, 2014.
  14. ^ Mackey, Jaimie (October 19, 2020). "Trilby Glover and Ian Brennan's Wedding Fairy-Tale". Brides. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  15. ^ Glover, Trilby. "It's our anniversary!". Instagram. Archived from the original on December 24, 2021. Retrieved September 4, 2019.
  16. ^ Glover, Trilby. "He's here!". Instagram. Archived from the original on December 24, 2021. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  17. ^ Glover, Trilby. "My daughter!". Instagram. Archived from the original on December 24, 2021. Retrieved August 9, 2018.
  18. ^ a b "Ian Brennan". Broadway World. Retrieved January 19, 2010.

External links[edit]