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Jason Katims grew up in New York. After graduation from college he decided to be a playwright and he started to write plays, he joined playwriting groups and tried to get productions. About his start in writing he said in an WB interview “I didn’t really have a lot of success when I first started doing it. I mean I had enough success, and enough people responded to my writing to keep me going, but it was quite a long time before I wound up earning a living doing it.” He added “And even though during that period I would have killed for a job, I’m grateful now for that time because I feel like that time helped me develop a voice.”.
Now, Jason Katims works in the television industry as a writer and producer. He got into the business because of Ed Zwick (producer of Shakespeare in Love or Traffic). He was the executive producer of the ABC teenage drama “My So-Called Life”. Zwick read one of the plays, Katims had written, he got interested and called him. Of course Jason took this chance he said “..I got on a plane, and that was it, and I’ve been in L.A. ever since.”. By now, he wrote for the television show “My So-Called Life”. Only 17 episodes were produced but this series won a huge and deep fanbase. Jason said in an interview “I thought it was a pretty amazing show in terms of how deeply it tapped into adolescence, and so in doing Roswell, I try – not to do My So-Called Life again cause you could never do that – but it is definitely on my mind a lot as I write.”
In 1996 he wrote the story for the comedic drama “The Pallbearer” – starring “Friends” actor David Schwimmer and Gwyneth Paltrow – and was a co-producer of this movie. After that he got an engagement as writer for the tv series “Relativity”. The summary on imdb.com says the following: “Soap opera about twenty-something lovers who meet in Italy and continue their romance at home in the United States. Side plots deal with various family situations from both of their families.”
Amongst others, this series was directed by Edward Zwick and Matt Reeves. And in this show you can find some more people Katims had worked with or is going to work with in future projects. Devon Gummersall, who played the neighbor kid in “My So-Called Life” played a character. In addition David Conrad (Agent Pierce in Roswell) and Mary Ellen Trainor (Max & Isabels Mom) were regular cast members plus his father Robert Katims. His dad also appeared in “My So-Called Life” and later in “Roswell”, as the judge in the Roswell episode “Independence Day”.
Jason Katims once explained how he got involved with the project “Roswell. He said “Roswell was originally a young adult novel called Roswell High. Somebody from the studio showed it to me and I thought it just seemed like a sea of possibility, and the kind of story which would just naturally have this life, and there’d be a lot of stories to tell.” Before this show he never had to do with sci-fi stories. He explained “First of all, my background is very much in more character driven stuff, relationship driven stuff, and I’ve never really worked in the science fiction genre at all.” Furthermore he said, that a lot of this was the learning experience of getting involved with that world and also coming to discover the possibilities and loving that aspect of the show.
After three great seasons, a channel change and different fan campaigns to save the show it got cancelled. One of Katims new projects after Roswell was “Boston Public” and in 2004 he created the tv series “DeMarco Affairs” with Selma Blair in the lead role. He still cares about the series and the fans and he helped to launch the Roswell DVDs.
Further credits include “The Wedding Bells”, “Bionic Woman”, “Fertile Ground” and more. For his work on “Friday Night Lights”, Jason has been nominated for a Writers Guild of America Award as “Best New Series” at the February 2007 ceremony. In the following year he received a nomination for his work on the second season of “Friday Night Lights” in the category “Best Dramatic Series”.