Ira Steven Behr : biography
Ira Steven Behr (born 23 October 1953, in New York City, New York), is an American television producer and screenwriter, most known for his work on Star Trek, especially Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, on which he served as showrunner and executive producer. He was the executive producer and showrunner on Crash and executive producer on Syfy's Alphas.
Post Star Trek period
Behr left Star Trek following the completion of Deep Space Nine's seven season run in 1999, and has since worked on several television shows, including:
- Dark Angel (2000, consulting producer)
- Bob Patterson (2001, writer and executive producer)
- The Twilight Zone (2002, writer and executive producer)
- The 4400 (2004, writer and executive producer)
- Dr. Vegas (2004 writer and consulting producer)
- Alphas (2011 writer and executive producer)
Behr studied Mass Communications and Theater in Lehman College in New York City. After graduating, Behr turned down a playwriting scholarship at Brandeis University, and instead moved to Los Angeles to pursue a screenwriting career. Although his passion was initially comedy, Behr's first writing job was on the dramatic series Maverick. Behr continued to work on television dramas, throughout the 1980s, among them:
- Jessica Novak (1981, story editor)
- Fame (1982, writer and producer)
- Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1982, writer)
- Bring 'Em Back Alive (1982, writer)
- Once a Hero (1987, writer and producer)
- The Bronx Zoo (1987, writer)
In late December 2010, Behr was appointed head writer, show runner, and executive producer for Syfy Channel's Alphas for which a pilot, written by Zak Penn and Michael Karnow and directed by Jack Bender (The Sopranos, Lost), had been produced. The program's lead actor is David Strathairn of Good Night, and Good Luck fame. Behr oversaw the remaining 10 episodes of the 11 episode first season order.
After several years writing and producing television, and while still a staff writer at Beyond Reality, Behr was hired as a producer during Star Trek: The Next Generation's third season.
Behr left The Next Generation after a year; but two years later, he rejoined Star Trek as a supervising producer on the new series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. At the start of the second season, Behr was promoted to co-executive producer. The following year, co-creator Michael Piller left to produce the next Star Trek series, Star Trek: Voyager and Behr replaced him as showrunner and executive producer.
Behr went on to write a total of 53 episodes of Deep Space Nine, more than any other writer.
As executive producer, Behr was largely responsible for the story arc of the show, from Bajoran politics to the Dominion War. This prolonged and complex story was a departure from the traditional Star Trek episodic format, and the war narrative was a break from the typically hopeful Star Trek vision of the future.
Behr personally wrote or co-wrote some of the most important episodes in the Dominion arc, including "The Jem'Hadar", "The Search", "The Way of the Warrior", "Broken Link", "Apocalypse Rising", "In Purgatory's Shadow", "By Inferno's Light", "Call to Arms", "Sacrifice of Angels", "Tears of the Prophets" and the final episode, "What You Leave Behind".
Behr also had a significant role in the development of the Ferengi alien race during his work on Deep Space Nine. Although the Ferengi were first introduced in the first season of The Next Generation as a potential major antagonist, they proved unsuccessful, and in subsequent seasons became an occasional source of comic relief. But it was not until Deep Space Nine, which included a Ferengi character in its regular cast, that the Ferengi were truly explored in any depth. Behr was involved with most of the early Ferengi-related episodes, and introduced the concept of the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition and wrote most of the rules which appeared on the show. These rules were later published as The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition, by Quark as told to Ira Steven Behr (ISBN 0-671-52936-6). Along with fellow Deep Space Nine producer Robert Hewitt Wolfe, Behr also co-wrote Legends of the Ferengi, a collection of short stories involving the Rules of Acquisition.
Crash: Season 2
In February 2009, Behr was named head writer for the Starz TV series Crash (based on the Paul Haggis film) as it heads into Season 2, which aired in the fall of 2009. Lead actor Dennis Hopper died in May 2010 and the series did not continue.
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