[Robert J. Sawyer] Science Fiction Writer
ROBERT J. SAWYER
Hugo and Nebula Winner


SFWRITER.COM > About Rob > Scriptwriting and Broadcasting

Scriptwriting and Broadcasting

Introduction | Guild Memberships | Scripts | TV Series Bibles and Treatments | Broadcasting and Film Milestones | Host and Narrator | Television and Radio Appearances | Broadcasting Consulting | Rob's CV

Introduction

[FlashForward script cover]

Robert J. Sawyer has written for ABC, the CBC, CTV, Copperheart, Harmony Gold, Nelvana, Shaftesbury, and gaming giant Ubisoft, among others.

His writing credits include produced primetime US network TV drama, two commissioned feature-film screenplays, commissioned series pilots and series bibles, and he wrote the series-finale episode for the popular Star Trek Continues fan-film series.

Rob has worked creatively with major industry figures including Ron Bass, Brannon Braga, Fred Fuchs, Vince Gerardis, Scott M. Gimple, David S. Goyer, Michael Hirsh, Karl Schaefer, William Shatner, and Robert Halmi, Sr.

Nineteen of Rob's bestselling novels have been optioned for film or television production.

Rob has a Bachelor of Applied Arts degree from Canada's top television school, the School of Radio and Television Arts (now known as the RTA School of Media) at Ryerson University, Toronto, awarded 1982. He also served as an instructor-demonstrator in television studio production techniques at Ryerson's School of Radio and Television Arts, 1982-1983.

In addition, he's the author of dozens of articles for Canadian broadcasting trade journals Broadcaster and Playback, as well as articles for the Entertainment section of The Toronto Star.


Guild Memberships

  • Writers Guild of Canada (since 1992).

  • Writers Guild of America (since 2010).

  • Dual US-Canadian citizen; free to work in both countries.

  • CAVCO certified.

Scripts

[Written by Robert J. Sawyer]

  • Scriptwriter, "To Boldly Go," the series finale for Star Trek Continues, widely regarded as the best of the crowdfunded Star Trek fan-film series, finishing the five-year mission of Kirk's Starship Enterprise, debuting 2017.

  • Scriptwriter, feature-film screenplay, adapting Sawyer's own novel Triggers, commissioned by Copperheart Entertainment, Toronto, for a projected $45-million motion picture, delivered 2014.

  • Scriptwriter, teleplay, adapting Sawyer's own short story "Biding Time," commissioned June 2013 by Shaftesbury Films, Toronto.

  • Scriptwriter, "Course Correction," the 19th episode of FlashForward, the ABC TV series based on Sawyer's novel of the same name. For this episode, Sawyer received the only solo "written by" credit in the entire run of the series (all other episodes had multiple scriptwriters credited and many additionally had separate "story by" credits). First broadcast: 6 May 2010. Script was one of five nominees for the Constellation Award for "Best Overall Science Fiction Film or Television Script of 2010," and the episode received an honourable mention for the Hugo Award. [Teleplay by Robert J. Sawyer]

  • Scriptwriter, "Vanguard," an hour-long pilot for a proposed dramatic television series entitled Earthfall, commissioned May 2008 by CTV, Canada's largest commercial broadcasting network, for Space, CTV's science-fiction specialty channel. "Vanguard" won the 2009 WILDsound TV Screenplay Festival in the category of best pilot script, beating over 150 other entrants.

  • Scriptwriter, Birth, original radio drama co-authored with Michael Lennick, commissioned by CBC Radio (first aired July 2005).

  • Scriptwriter, pilot, Exodus: Mars, original pilot commissioned by Nelvana for a half-hour CGI animated series, Toronto, 2000; executive producer: William Shatner.

  • Scriptwriter, "What If? An Exploration of Alternative Histories," two one-hour documentaries, commissioned by CBC Radio's Ideas series, 1990.

  • Scriptwriter, "Other Worlds, Other Minds: A Science Fiction Odyssey," three one-hour documentaries, commissioned by CBC Radio's Ideas series, 1986.

TV Series Bibles and Treatments

  • Untitled, a dramatic TV series bible, BellMedia, Toronto, March 2016.

  • Dark Cloud, a dramatic TV series proposal, commissioned by Floating Island Entertainment, Toronto, May 2015.

  • Starboard, a dramatic miniseries story treatment, commissioned by RHI Entertainment, New York, July 2008.

  • TV series bible, Robotech series revival, commissioned by Harmony Gold USA, Los Angeles, 2003.

  • TV series bible, Charlie Jade, commissioned by CHUM Television, Toronto, 2002 (series aired on Syfy and Space).

  • TV series bible, Exodus: Mars, commissioned by Nelvana, half-hour CGI animated series, Toronto, 2000; executive producer: William Shatner.

Broadcasting and Film Milestones

[RTA Wall of Fame]

  • One of the initial twelve inductees to the RTA School of Media Wall of Fame by Ryerson University's RTA School of Media (formerly the School of Radio and Television Arts, the top-rated broadcasting school in Canada, established 1953) and the RTA Alumni Association, unveiled 22 September 2012.

  • Author of the novel FlashForward, basis for the ABC television series of the same name; 22 hour-long episodes debuting 24 September 2009. Produced by Disney's ABC Studios in Los Angeles, FlashForward was the fastest-selling TV series in Disney's history, selling to over 100 markets worldwide; it was also the longest-running science-fiction TV series ever based on a work by a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

  • Finalists, World Science Fiction Society's Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form) of 2010: Brannon Braga, David S. Goyer, and Robert J. Sawyer for "No More Good Days," the pilot episode of FlashForward.

Host and Narrator

[Robert J. Sawyer is Supernatural Investigator]

  • Host and narrator, Supernatural Investigator, 27-episode half-hour prime-time documentary television series for Vision TV (S-Vox), debuting 27 January 2009 ("World-class; Supernatural Investigator is Unsolved Mysteries for brainiacs" —Victoria Times Colonist).

  • Host, co-writer, and co-producer, Slipstream, a pilot for a new-media (video for the web) documentary series about science fiction, produced by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, June 2008.

  • Host, Faster Than Light, one-hour special on CBC Radio One's Sunday Showcase and Monday Night Playhouse, September 2002.

  • Co-host (with Gill Deacon), two-hour prime-time television documentary Inventing the Future: 2000 Years of Discovery, Discovery Channel Canada, first aired 2 January 2000.

  • In the Mind of Robert J. Sawyer, one-hour prime-time television special seen coast-to-coast in Canada on Space and Bravo! (first aired January 2003, many repeats since).

  • Syndicated radio columnist, Science FACTion (commentaries on cutting-edge science), produced by the CBC for use on local radio stations across Canada, 2002-2003.

  • Monthly columnist, 2020 Vision, for Discovery Channel's flagship science program Daily Planet, 1997-1998.

  • Narrator, "What If? An Exploration of Alternative Histories," two one-hour documentaries for CBC Radio's Ideas series, 1990.

  • Narrator, "Other Worlds, Other Minds: A Science Fiction Odyssey," three one-hour documentaries for CBC Radio's Ideas series, 1986.

Television and Radio Appearances

[Rob on The Agenda

  • Frequent commentator on science stories for the CBC, the BBC, Discovery Channel Canada, and TVOntario.

  • Over 350 TV appearances, including The Agenda, The Arts Tonight, BBC World News, Breakfast Television, Canada AM, Credo, Daily Planet, The Hour, Listen Up, More2Life, Naked News, The National, Open Mike with Mike Bullard, Pamela Wallin, Prisoners of Gravity (most-frequent guest in that program's history), Richler Ink, Rivera Live with Geraldo Rivera, Saturday Night at the Movies, Sci-Fi Channel's Sci-Fi Buzz, TechTV's The Screen Savers, Studio 2, Valerie Pringle's Test of Faith, Vicki Gabereau, and W-Five; first person ever to appear on Space: The Imagination Station.

  • Over 350 radio appearances, including repeatedly on CBC's Definitely Not the Opera with Sook-Yin Lee, Morningside with Peter Gzowski, Quirks & Quarks with Bob McDonald, and Sounds Like Canada with Shelagh Rogers, plus NPR's Talk of the Nation, the BBC World Service's The World Today and Newshour, and BBC Scotland's Newsweek.

  • Featured in the documentaries Destination: Mars, included on the Criterion Collection DVD release of Robinson Crusoe on Mars and in the special features on the FlashForward: The Complete Series DVD set.

Broadcasting Consulting

  • Consultant (credited as such on-air) on the pilot and all subsequent episodes of FlashForward.

  • Executive Director, The Rosewell Group, six-person consultancy headed by The Honourable David MacDonald, formerly Canada's Secretary of State. The Rosewell Group was convened in 1983 to spearhead the successful formation of Vision TV, a multifaith/multicultural Canadian national specialty television channel. Sawyer edited and coauthored the original Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) license application for Vision TV, and also wrote and edited all newsletters, promotional, and community-building materials produced by The Rosewell Group, 12 October 1983-29 June 1984 (with ongoing consulting through 1987).

Rob's CV

Rob's CV (his curriculum vitae; his résumé — a full summary of his professional achievements) is available here in Adobe Acrobat PDF format.


More Good Reading

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Novels by Rob


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