Kenneth Johnson (filmmaker)
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Kenneth Culver Johnson
October 26, 1942
Pine Bluff, Arkansas, U.S.
|Occupation||Television producer, director, screenwriter|
(m. 1963; div. 1975)
Susan Appling (m. 1977)
Kenneth Culver Johnson (born October 26, 1942) is an American screenwriter, producer and director. He is known as the creator of the V science fiction franchise as well as The Bionic Woman (1976–78), The Incredible Hulk series (1977–82), and the TV adaptation (1989) of Alien Nation. His creative efforts are almost entirely concentrated in the area of television science fiction.
His early TV work includes The Six Million Dollar Man, The Bionic Woman and The Incredible Hulk. Johnson created the character of Jaime Sommers and The Bionic Woman, an American television series starring Lindsay Wagner that aired for three seasons between 1976 and 1978 as a spin-off from The Six Million Dollar Man.
In 1983, he wrote and directed the original miniseries V, about an invasion of Earth by reptilian aliens, originally inspired by Sinclair Lewis' anti-fascist novel It Can't Happen Here (1935). The miniseries aired on NBC, and a year later was followed by a sequel, V: The Final Battle, which Johnson briefly worked on before leaving the project due to disagreements with the network. Johnson was subsequently credited as a co-writer of the sequel miniseries under the pseudonym Lillian Weezer, and was not involved at all in the weekly V television series that followed.
He directed Short Circuit 2 in 1988.
He wrote and directed five TV movies that served as spin-offs to his Alien Nation series. They were: Alien Nation: Dark Horizon (1994), Alien Nation: Body and Soul (1995), Alien Nation: Millennium (1996), Alien Nation: The Enemy Within (1996), and Alien Nation: The Udara Legacy (1997).
In 1997, he wrote and directed the movie Steel, based on the DC comic book character Steel. It featured basketball player Shaquille O'Neal as John Henry Irons, the character's alter-ego. The film was a financial and critical failure.
He directed the 1999 Disney Channel Original Movie Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century, starring Kirsten Storms as the eponymous heroine. The film was based on the book Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century written by Marilyn Sadler and Roger Bollen.
In 2006, Johnson announced his completion of a four-hour script for a new V mini series called V: The Second Generation. The storyline takes place 20 years after the original 1983 mini-series, ignoring the second mini-series (V: The Final Battle) and subsequent weekly television series. However, NBC told Johnson that they were more interested in a remake of the original V mini-series instead, which, if successful, might lead to his proposed sequel.
Since then, Johnson adapted his screenplay for V: The Second Generation into a novel. It was published by Tor Books and released on February 5, 2008. However, since his discussions with NBC, Warner Bros (who hold the television rights to the V franchise) have opted to produce a remake of V (written by Scott Peters) for the ABC Network, thus ending any prospect of Johnson's sequel being produced for television.
In April 2008, Johnson stated his intention to remake the original V mini-series and his new sequel V: The Second Generation into feature films. Johnson claimed to have been in discussions with producers interested in the project. Since this statement, Johnson's potential film production has not been developed further, although talks with potential backers are still ongoing. The Warner Bros. television remake for ABC premiered on November 3, 2009. It was canceled in 2011, after two seasons, due to low ratings.
In 2017, Johnson published the 430 pages fiction novel The Man of Legends.
In February 2018, Kenneth Johnson announced on his official website that V:The Movie (a trilogy) would be made with him as Director and Producer along with Desilu Studios  Johnson has since updated his website to say that Desilu's option had expired, and referred to new allegations.
Johnson married Bonnie Hollaway on February 2, 1963, and they divorced in 1975. They have three children. On June 19, 1977 (the day after completing filming of the pilot movie of The Incredible Hulk series), he married Susan Appling, and they have one child.
- Gwendolyn Shelton (January 16, 2017). "Kenneth Culver (Kenny) Johnson (1942–)". Encyclopedia of Arkansas. Retrieved November 15, 2011.
- "Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved March 15, 2016.
- "The Man of Legends". www.kennethjohnson.us. Retrieved May 8, 2017.
- "V:The Movie". www.deadline.com. Retrieved February 10, 2018.