Alex Gansa

Alex Gansa

Gansa had little exposure to television as a child; his parents were first-generation immigrants who sent their son to boarding school at the age of 12 and forbade him from even viewing television until he had gone to Princeton as a writing major. There, he met Howard Gordon, a fellow student who shared his affinity for author Saul Bellow. After graduating in 1984, Gansa and Gordon headed west to try their hand at writing for Hollywood. The duo initially supported themselves with a SAT tutor business that catered to wealthy parents of college-bound students. One of their clients was producer John Wilder, who read a spec script written by the pair and hired them for his series, "Spenser: For Hire" (ABC, 1985-88), which paved the way to their work as writers and producers on "Beauty and the Beast" (CBS, 1987-1990). When that cult series ran its course, Gansa and Gordon signed a deal with Witt-Thomas Productions, which yielded several TV movies, including "Country Estates" (ABC, 1993), a pilot for a proposed series about strange happenings in a seemingly idyllic suburb.The project attracted the attention of producer Chris Carter," who subsequently hired the pair in 1994 to join the "X-Files" as writers and supervising producers. Gansa left "The X-Files" in 1994, considering himself poorly matched with the series' paranormal content. After failing to convince Gordon to also leave the show in order to create their own program, Gansa spent the better part of the next decade as a journeyman writer-producer, contributing to "Dawson's Creek" (The WB, 1998-2003), "Num3rs" and "Entourage," which netted him a Writers Guild award, while attempting to create his own network series. Unfortunately, both of his efforts in this regard - the comedy "Maximum Bob" (ABC, 1998), based on a novel by Elmore Leonard, and "Wolf Lake" (CBS, 2001-2002), a drama about werewolves - lasted less than a season. Gansa was reportedly broke when Gordon approached him to join his latest series, "24," as a writer-producer.The reunited team would oversee the final season of the ratings hit before approaching Showtime with an idea for their own show. "Homeland," based on the Israeli television series "Hatufim" ("Prisoners of War") (Channel 2, 2010-), was met with considerable critical acclaim, which led to the 2012 Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series. Gansa also shared an Emmy for Outstanding Writing with Gordon and Gideon Raff, the show's executive producer and creator of "Hatufim." The show would also go on to capture top awards from the Writers Guild of America and American Film Institute that same year, as well as the prestigious Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America. By Paul Gaita