Ira Steven Behr
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|Ira Steven Behr|
Pictured at San Diego Comicon 2011
|Born||October 23, 1953
New York City, New York
|Occupation||Television producer and screenwriter|
|Known for||Star Trek: Deep Space Nine|
Ira Steven Behr (born October 23, 1953, in New York City, New York) is an American television producer and screenwriter, most known for his work on Star Trek, especially Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, on which he served as showrunner and executive producer. He was the executive producer and showrunner on Crash and executive producer on Syfy's Alphas. Behr is currently a writer and co-executive producer on Outlander.
Born to a Jewish family, Behr studied at Lehman College in New York City. After graduating, Behr moved to Los Angeles to pursue a screenwriting career. Behr's first writing job was on the dramatic series Bret Maverick. Behr continued to work on television dramas, throughout the 1980s, among them:
- Jessica Novak (1981, story editor)
- Fame (1982, writer and producer)
- Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1982, writer)
- Bring 'Em Back Alive (1982, writer)
- Once a Hero (1987, writer and producer)
- The Bronx Zoo (1987, writer)
Behr left The Next Generation after a year; but two years later, he rejoined Star Trek as a supervising producer on the new series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. At the start of the second season, Behr was promoted to co-executive producer. The following year, co-creator Michael Piller left to produce the next Star Trek series, Star Trek: Voyager and Behr replaced him as showrunner and executive producer. As showrunner, Behr reported to head executive producer and franchise chief Rick Berman.
Behr went on to write a total of 53 episodes of Deep Space Nine, more than any other writer.
As executive producer, Behr was largely responsible for the story arc of the show, from Bajoran politics to the Dominion War. This prolonged and complex story was a departure from the traditional Star Trek episodic format, and the war narrative was a break from the typically hopeful Star Trek vision of the future.
Behr personally wrote or co-wrote some of the most important episodes in the Dominion arc, including "The Jem'Hadar", "The Search", "The Way of the Warrior", "Broken Link", "Apocalypse Rising", "In Purgatory's Shadow", "By Inferno's Light", "Call to Arms", "Sacrifice of Angels", "Tears of the Prophets" and the final episode, "What You Leave Behind".
Behr also had a significant role in the development of the Ferengi alien race during his work on Deep Space Nine. Although the Ferengi were first introduced in the first season of The Next Generation as a potential major antagonist, they proved unsuccessful, and in subsequent seasons became an occasional source of comic relief. But it was not until Deep Space Nine, which included a Ferengi character in its regular cast, that the Ferengi were truly explored in any depth. Behr was involved with most of the early Ferengi-related episodes, and introduced the concept of the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition and wrote most of the rules which appeared on the show. These rules were later published as The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition, by Quark as told to Ira Steven Behr (ISBN 0-671-52936-6). Along with fellow Deep Space Nine producer Robert Hewitt Wolfe, Behr also co-wrote Legends of the Ferengi, a collection of short stories involving the Rules of Acquisition.
Post-Star Trek period
Behr left Star Trek following the completion of Deep Space Nine's seven season run in 1999, and has since worked on several television shows, including:
- Dark Angel (2000, consulting producer)
- Bob Patterson (2001, writer and executive producer)
- The Twilight Zone (2002, writer and executive producer)
- The 4400 (2004–2007, writer and executive producer)
- Dr. Vegas (2004, writer and consulting producer)
- Alphas (2011, writer and executive producer)
- Outlander (2014–, writer and co-executive producer)
Crash: Season 2
In February 2009, Behr was named head writer for the Starz TV series Crash (based on the Paul Haggis film) as it heads into Season 2, which aired in the fall of 2009. Lead actor Dennis Hopper died in May 2010 and the series did not continue.
In late December 2010, Behr was appointed head writer, show runner, and executive producer for Syfy Channel's Alphas for which a pilot, written by Zak Penn and Michael Karnow and directed by Jack Bender (The Sopranos, Lost), had been produced. The program's lead actor is David Strathairn of Good Night, and Good Luck fame. Behr oversaw the remaining 10 episodes of the 11 episode first season order.
- Gershom, Yonassan (March 13, 2013). Jewish Themes in Star Trek.
- Goldman, Eric (February 24, 2009). "4400 Executive Producer Will Crash". ign.com. Retrieved December 28, 2014.
- Andreeva, Nellie (December 20, 2010). "Ira Steven Behr To Run SyFy Series 'Alphas'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 28, 2014.
- Ira Steven Behr at Startrek.com, the official Star Trek site
- Ira Steven Behr at the Internet Movie Database
- Ira Steven Behr interviewed by Futon Critic, 2009-09-18
- Ira Steven Behr interviewed by IF Magazine, 2009-10-10
- Ira Steven Behr interviewed by Tomorrow Will Be Televised, 2009-09-09 (includes audio podcast)