Rob Thomas (writer)
Thomas at WonderCon in April 2015
|Born||Robert James Thomas|
August 15, 1965
Sunnyside, Washington, U.S.
|Pen name||Everett Owens|
|Notable works||Veronica Mars|
Robert James Thomas (born August 15, 1965) is an American author, producer, director and screenwriter. He created the television series Veronica Mars (2004–2007, 2019), and co-created 90210 (2008–2013), Party Down (2009–2010), and iZombie (2015–2019).
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 later at John H. Reagan High School in Austin, Texas. He also 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 has also adapted the screenplay for Drive Me Crazy, and directed On Air, a twenty-minute film adaptation of a story from Doing Time.
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 fourth 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.
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. Little news on the project has emerged since then.
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 Hollywood 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."
In February 2009, according to Entertainment Weekly, Thomas fueled rumors of a possible Veronica Mars film. 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 was also co-author of two novels which were published by Vintage Books once the movie was released in 2014; the novels depict events occurring after those of the film.
In November 2013, a pilot based on Chris Roberson and Michael Allred's comic book iZOMBIE was picked up by The CW, with Thomas producing alongside Diane Ruggiero. The thirteen-episode first season of iZombie was subsequently broadcast, commencing March 17, 2015. In 2016, he announced he was working on a TV series based on the 1987 cult classic film The Lost Boys to be broadcast on the CW. His plan is that it will last 7 seasons each covering a decade in the life of the vampires, who would be different characters from 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, 2019) (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 (2015–2019) (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 multiple Golden Satellite Awards.
- "Veronica Mars reboot officially happening: New details released". ew.com. Retrieved November 5, 2018.
- 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.
- "From Austin to Neptune Creator Rob Thomas on the rise of his career-making cult favorite, 'Veronica Mars'". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved May 17, 2015.
- "Rob Thomas (II)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved March 26, 2010.
- "Is a Party Down Movie in the Works?". TV Guide. Retrieved June 28, 2011.
- "Comedy Geeks Rejoice: Party Down Movie Is Happening". Gothamist. Archived from the original on April 6, 2015. Retrieved December 19, 2011.
- O'Connell, Michael. "TCA: Megan Mullally Confirms 'Party Down' Movie Shooting in 2012". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 10, 2012.
- "Rob Thomas Speaks Out on Party Down Cancellation--Is the Veronica Mars Movie Next?". E! Online. Retrieved July 7, 2010.
- "Rob Thomas tweet, January 19, 2011". Twitter. Retrieved January 19, 2011.
- Schneider, Michael (August 25, 2010). "'Temps' job for party crowd". VARIETY. Retrieved August 28, 2010.
- "'August 28, 2010 tweet by Rob Thomas correcting Variety article". Twitter. Retrieved August 29, 2010.
- "'February 10, 2010 tweet by Rob Thomas". Twitter. Retrieved February 10, 2010.
- "January 18, 2011 tweet by Rob Thomas announcing Fox order". Twitter. Retrieved January 18, 2011.
- Goldberg, Lesley (August 25, 2011). "Heather Graham to Star Opposite Rob Corddry in 'Little in Common'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 25, 2011.
- "'Little in Common' Not Going Forward at Fox". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 28, 2011.
- "Rob Thomas, Creator of Party Down and Veronica Mars, Giving You That Thing You Wish You Had Said Yesterday". Austinist.com. Retrieved October 28, 2011.
- "The Veronica Mars Movie Project". Retrieved March 14, 2013.
- "The Veronica Mars Movie Project". kickstarter.com. Retrieved March 13, 2013.
- "Seeking Funds for Movie, Creator of 'Veronica Mars' Turns to Kickstarter". nytimes.com. Retrieved March 13, 2013.
- "March 13, 2013 tweet from Rob Thomas". twitter.com. Retrieved March 13, 2013.
- "'Veronica Mars' reaches Kickstarter goal". ew.com. Retrieved March 13, 2013.
- "'Veronica Mars' Gets Book Series Spin-Off (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 9, 2013.
- "The CW Developing iZombie Drama Series From Veronica Mars Creator Rob Thomas". tvline.com. Retrieved March 15, 2014.
- "The CW Sets Drama Based On DC Comics' 'iZombie' With Rob Thomas, Diane Ruggiero". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 15, 2014.
- Goldman, Eric (January 11, 2015). "iZombie Premiering March 17th; Supernatural Moving Back to Wednesdays". IGN. Retrieved February 9, 2015.
- Andreeva, Nellie (August 18, 2016). "'The Lost Boys' TV Series Based On Movie In Works At The CW With Rob Thomas". Deadline. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
- "Veronica Mars And One Tree Hill Creators Back To Work On CW". Cinemablend.com. October 15, 2009. Retrieved May 29, 2013.
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