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  • Michael Piller (co-creator of Star Trek DS9) dead at 57

    Posted on November 2nd, 2005 Rob No comments

    Michael Piller Succumbs to Cancer, Age 57

    Michael Piller, best known to television viewers around the world as the executive producer/co-creator of more than 500 hours of Star Trek, lost his long battle with an aggressive form of head & neck cancer o­n Tuesday, November 1, 2005 at 4:51 a.m. at his home in Los Angeles. He was 57. He is survived by his wife Sandra, daughter Brent and son Shawn.

    Michael served as creative consultant for Star Trek: Voyager, which he co-created, until the series concluded in May 2001. He also co-created Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and served as executive producer o­n Star Trek: The Next Generation (1989-1994), Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1992-1995) and Star Trek: Voyager (1994-1996).

    During the 1994-95 television season, Michael also co-created and executive produced the UPN network series Legend. In 1998, he wrote and co-produced "Star Trek: Insurrection," the ninth installment in the enormously successful Star Trek feature film franchise for Paramount Pictures. In 1999, Michael partnered with his son Shawn Piller to form Piller2, Inc., a Hollywood-based production company where they developed and produced new television and motion picture properties.

    The father/son duo are also the co-creators of USA Networks top-rated cable drama series The Dead Zone, and the ABC Family Channels Wildfire. Michael, in addition to serving o­n the Advisory Board for the Department of Communications Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, gave a major grant to his alma mater to help launch a nationally distinctive screenwriting program.

    With Michael Piller at the helm of Star Trek: The Next Generation, the show became the first syndicated series in the 90s to receive an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Drama. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine continued the success of the franchise during its seven seasons o­n the air. Star Trek: Voyager also ran for seven seasons.

    An Emmy Award-winning journalist, Michael began his broadcasting career with CBS News in New York. He subsequently served as managing editor of the WBTV-TV News in Charlotte, North Carolina, and assistant news director at WBBM-TV, the CBS affiliate in Chicago. His first position in entertainment television was as a censor in the CBS docudrama unit. Piller then spent two years as a programming executive before leaving CBS to write full-time. Michaels credits as a writer-producer include the series Simon & Simon, Cagney & Lacey, Miami Vice, Probe, and Hard Time o­n Planet Earth. In addition, he co-created and executive produced the syndicated series Group o­ne Medical.

    Donations in Michaels name can be made to: The Michael Piller Distinguished Professorship at Carolina Writing for the Screen and Stage Program Arts and Sciences Foundation c/o Emily Stevens 134 East Franklin Street Chapel Hill, NC 27514 link

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