Mike Sussman (TV series writer/producer)
Michael David Sussman
June 22, 1967
|Occupation||Television producer and writer|
Mike Sussman (born June 22, 1967) is an American television writer and producer. He is best known as a writer and producer of the Star Trek franchise and as the Co-Creator and Executive Producer of the TNT one-hour drama Perception, starring Emmy Award-winner Eric McCormack as a crime-solving neurologist.
Sussman was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but as a child he moved with his family first to New Jersey and finally to Sarasota, Florida. He was a fan of Star Trek from an early age, and was involved in letter writing campaigns to local television stations when they dropped Star Trek: The Original Series from broadcast syndication. He credits David Gerrold's book about the making of the episode "The Trouble with Tribbles" as being an influence on his future career. He wrote his first Star Trek story at the age of eight. Whilst attending Florida State University he took a class in script writing, penning a spec script for Star Trek: The Next Generation; the script that later helped Sussman obtain an internship with the writing staff of Star Trek: Voyager.
Before writing for Star Trek, Sussman served as a writer and producer for KCAL-TV's Emmy Award-winning Prime Nine News, and shared the award for Best Newscast at the New York Festivals Television & Film Awards.
Sussman's first professional sale was to Star Trek: Voyager for the episode "Meld". Sussman had been invited in by producer Kenneth Biller after reading The Next Generation spec script Sussman had submitted. He partnered with Phyllis Strong and the team were hired as executive story editors by showrunner Kenneth Biller for the seventh season of Voyager.
When Voyager ended, the two were asked to continue as writers on Star Trek: Enterprise. For much of the first year this involved re-writes on episodes plotted by executive producers Rick Berman and Brannon Braga. During the second season, Strong and Sussman created episodes from scratch; in the third season, they branched out as solo writers. Sussman later said in an interview that the writers on the series had a competition amongst them to insert references to The Original Series. Amongst Sussman's references were including the Malurians in the Enterprise episode "Civilization" after they were wiped out during the events of The Original Series episode "The Changeling". During season three, his "pet project" was the episode "Twilight", an alternative future episode which featured a romance between characters Jonathan Archer and T'Pol.
He was pleased with the direction that show runner Manny Coto took Enterprise in during its fourth season. Sussman and Coto would bounce ideas off each other with the intention of taking the show more in the direction of The Original Series. He also advocated for Star Trek novelists Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens to be added to the writing team. He also suggested the closing montage scene in the Enterprise finale "These Are the Voyages..." which showed all the main ships from the various Star Trek series. Sussman has been credited with writing over 30 Star Trek episodes. Post-Star Trek, he has worked on television series Threshold and Sam Raimi's Legend of the Seeker. He since produced Perception for TNT alongside Biller. Later, Sussman went on to write and produce the SyFy Channel series, 12 Monkeys; and The Last Ship from Executive Producer Michael Bay and TNT Originals.
- "Sussman, Mike". Star Trek.com. Retrieved August 2, 2013.
- Nemecek, Larry (April–May 2004). "Enterprise Scribe" (PDF). Star Trek Magazine (114). pp. 58–62. Retrieved August 2, 2013.
- "Catching Up with Star Trek Writer Mike Sussman". Star Trek.com. September 30, 2010. Retrieved August 2, 2013.
- Huntley, Katherine (May 12, 2005). "Mike Sussman". Trek Today. Retrieved August 2, 2013.