Stephen J. Cannell

Stephen J. Cannell

Infobox Celebrity
name = Stephen J. Cannell

caption = 2005 photo
birth_date = birth date and age|1941|2|5
birth_place = Los Angeles, California, U.S.
death_date =
death_place =
occupation = Writer, Producer
salary =
networth =
website =
footnotes =

Stephen Joseph Cannell, (born February 5, 1941; pronEng|ˈkænəl, rhymes with "channel"), is an American television producer, writer, novelist and occasional actor.


Born in Los Angeles, California to a prominent local family, Cannell's father owned an interior design and furniture business. Cannell struggled with dyslexia in school, but did graduate from the University of Oregon in 1964 with a Bachelor of Science in journalism. [ Producer Stephen J. Cannell] - Luke Ford] At UO, he joined the Sigma Chi fraternity.

After college Cannell spent four years working with the family business before selling his first script to the Universal series "It Takes a Thief" in 1968. He was quickly hired by the television production branch of Universal Studios and was soon free-lance writing for other crime shows such as "Ironside" and "Columbo". Not long after he received his first full-time gig as the story editor of Jack Webb's police series "Adam-12," then in its fourth season (1971-1972).

Noted for sophisticated, character-driven writing within genre formats, Cannell has created or co-created nearly 40 different (mostly) crime drama shows, including "The Rockford Files", "The Greatest American Hero", "The A-Team", "Wiseguy", "21 Jump Street", "Silk Stalkings" and "The Commish". In the process he has scripted more than 350 episodes, and produced or executive produced over 1,500 episodes.

Cannell has also acted occasionally, including a regular supporting role as "Dutch" Dixon on his series, "Renegade". He also took a turn in an episode of "Silk Stalkings", in which the script called for one character to tell him, "You look just like that writer on TV," to which Cannell's character responds, "I get that all the time."

In an effort to lower production costs, Cannell opened a major studio facility in Vancouver, British Columbia toward the end of the 1980s. One of the first series shot there was "21 Jump Street", the highest-rated show of the new Fox network's first season. "Scene of the Crime", a mystery anthology series for CBS's late-night schedule, was also filmed in Vancouver and was hosted by Cannell himself. His production company was acquired by New World Communications in 1995. He currently heads the Cannell Studios. [Thompson, Robert J. [ Cannell, Stephen J.] - at the Museum of Broadcast Communications]

In recent years, Cannell has turned his attention to novels. As of 2008, he has written 14 novels, half of which have featured the character of Shane Scully of the LAPD.

He collaborated with Janet Evanovich on a book entitled "No Chance", which was to be the first book in a new series. It was scheduled for release in October 2007. However, as of July 2007, the book seems to have been canceled. [ [ No Chance of Evanovich/Cannell Collaboration] - at]

Cannell currently lives in Los Angeles. He married his high school sweetheart, Marcia, and together they have two daughters, and a son. Their first child, Derek, died in 1981, at age 15, when a sand castle he was building at the beach collapsed and suffocated him.

elected Filmography


*"21 Jump Street"
*"Baa Baa Black Sheep"
*"Hardcastle and McCormick"
*"Quincy, M.E."
*"Silk Stalkings"
*"Sonny Spoon"
*"Street Justice"
*"The 100 Lives of Black Jack Savage"
*"The A-Team"
*"The Commish"
*"The Duke"
*"The Greatest American Hero"
*"The Quest"
*"The Rockford Files"
*"Tenspeed and Brown Shoe"


hane Scully series

* "The Tin Collectors" (2001)
* "The Viking Funeral" (2002)
* "Hollywood Tough" (2003)
* "Vertical Coffin" (2004)
* "Cold Hit" (2004)
* "White Sister" (2006)
* "Three Shirt Deal" (2007)

Other novels

* "The Plan" (1996)
* "Final Victim" (1997)
* "King Con" (1998)
* "Riding The Snake" (1999)
* "The Devil's Workshop" (2000)
* "Runaway Heart" (2003)
* "At First Sight" (2008)


* The closing logo of his production company features him typing, before throwing the sheet from his typewriter whereupon it animates to become his company logo against a black screen. It was updated often, the main differences being Cannell's clothes, sometimes new awards in the background and (rarely) a new office for the live-action part. Early examples are also notable for Cannell smoking a pipe as he types. His production logo is parodied by Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay, the two members of the French electronica duo Justice, at the end of the music video for their song DVNO. This was parodied at the end of the Parker Lewis Can't Lose episode "Write or Die".
* Cannell is dyslexic, and is a spokesperson on the subject. According to an episode of Paul Harvey's "The Rest of the Story", Cannell frequently has to dictate ideas or even complete scripts to a personal secretary.
* Cannell continues to write on an old-fashioned typewriter (an IBM Selectric currently) and only uses a computer for research purposes.
* For many years, Cannell's office was at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, though his shows (with the exception of "Hunter") were almost always distributed by Universal Studios.


External links

* [ Official Cannell Studios website]


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