Kirk Ellis won two Emmys, a WGA Award, a Peabody and the Humanitas Prize for his work as writer and co-executive producer on the HBO miniseries “John Adams.” The miniseries won a record breaking 13 Emmys in total, as well as four Golden Globe awards. Previously, Ellis received an Emmy nomination and won the WGA Award and Humanitas Prize for the ABC miniseries “Anne Frank,” which he wrote and co-produced. Miniseries on which he has served as writer and producer have garnered more than 50 Emmy nominations.
Ellis’ collaboration with Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks on the miniseries “Into the West” brought him the Western Writers of America’s Golden Spur Award for Best Drama Script for the episode “Hell on Wheels.” He also received the Wrangler Award for Best Television Feature from the National Western Heritage Museum for his work on the miniseries, on which Ellis served as writer and supervising producer.
A graduate of the University of Southern California’s School of Cinema and Television, Ellis began his professional career as a film critic for The Hollywood Reporter, and at age 24 served as the magazine’s international editor. In 1992 he formed Shadow Catcher Productions, an independent production banner under which Ellis develops his own indie features and documentaries. Ellis made his feature film debut writing and co-producing “The Grass Harp,” based on the coming-of-age novel by Truman Capote. He has also collaborated on projects with such directors as Francis Ford Coppola, Roland Joffe and William Friedkin.
A co-governor of the writers’ branch of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Ellis also serves as chairman of the Santa Fe, New Mexico Arts Commission. Recently elected vice-president of the Western Writers of America, he also sits on the advisory board of Richmond, Virginia-based James River Writers.