With 25 Emmy nominations, six wins, induction into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 2017, and as a past two-time president of the Writers Guild, John Wells is one of the most respected and honored members of the industry. His string of successful shows speaks for itself and includes such titles as The West Wing, ER, Shameless, China Beach, Southland, Third Watch, plus the Emmy-winning limited series Mildred Pierce among others. His film work includes directing Company Men, the Bradley Cooper-starring Burnt and the Oscar-nominated August: Osage County.
Currently he is represented by TNT’s Animal Kingdom, in its sixth and final season, as well as the acclaimed Netflix limited series Maid starring Margaret Qualley and Andie McDowell, for which he directed four episodes and served as a producer. Wells had a lot to talk about, not only his prolific work on these various shows but also the state of the ever-changing business, when he joined me for this edition of my Deadline video series Behind the Lens.
We start by talking about Maid and how it matriculated through Margot Robbie’s production company LuckyChap and eventually to Wells and his company (which has a longtime production deal at WBTV), and then into the creative direction of his hand-picked writer/showrunner/EP Molly Smith Meltzer, who previously worked with Wells on the long-running Shameless. And this being for Netflix, of course, we talk about the health of the steaming industry and its impact across all sectors of entertainment. Wells, as always, has a lot of insights to share.
To watch our conversation, click on the video above.
Join me every Monday and Friday during Emmy season for another episode of Behind the Lens.