FARHAD SAFINIA – Executive Producer and Creator
DEE JOHNSON – Executive Producer & Showrunner
Farhad Safinia is the creator and executive producer of the Golden Globe® nominated STARZ Original series "Boss."
Previously, Safinia co-wrote and co-produced the feature film Apocalypto with director Mel Gibson. The film was nominated for a Golden Globe® for Best Foreign Language Film in 2007.
His other recent film projects include an adaptation of the Aldous Huxley novel Brave New World for Universal Pictures with Leonardo DiCaprio attached to star and Ridley Scott to direct, and Sony Pictures' The Allen Counter Project for Will Smith to star in and produce.
KELSEY GRAMMER – Executive Producer
Dee Johnson is the executive producer and showrunner of the STARZ Original series "Boss."
Dee began her writing career on NBC's "I'll Fly Away" and continued to rise in the ranks, writing for such acclaimed series as "Melrose Place," "Homicide: Life On the Streets," "The Profiler," "Any Day Now" and "Southland." In addition to pursuing her own development slate, she has also served as executive producer on "Commander in Chief," the Emmy® Award-winning series "ER" and "The Good Wife."
GUS VAN SANT – Executive Producer
Kelsey Grammer takes on two leading roles in the STARZ Original series "Boss," where he stars as Mayor Tom Kane and serves as a series executive producer. Grammer has excelled to the highest level in theatre, television and film, as an actor, producer, executive producer and director.
An initial role as Dr. Frasier Crane on "Cheers" developed into the cornerstone of the Julliard-trained actor's career. Grammer played the celebrated character in three different television series ("Cheers," "Wings" and "Frasier") over a span of 20 years, tying the record for longest-running television character.
Portraying Crane, Grammer has won four Emmys, two Golden Globes and a SAG Award and has received an unparalleled sixteen Emmy nominations, eight Golden Globe nominations, sixteen SAG nominations.
Fifteen years ago, Grammer created Grammnet, a TV production company which has produced such hit television shows as the Emmy-winning "Medium," for NBC, and "The Game" and "Girlfriends," for CW. Other Grammnet producing credits include the NBC productions "The Innocent," "Kelsey Grammer Salutes Jack Benny," "Fired Up," "In Laws" and "Gary the Rat." For PAX, he produced "World Cup Comedy." For FOX, he starred in and produced "Kelsey Grammer Presents: The Sketch Show." Most recently, he took on the roles of director and executive producer on the just-finished comedy pilot "Alligator Point," for Lifetime.
Grammer has directed single episodes of "Everybody Hates Chris," "My Ex Life" and "Out of Practice." He has also directed several episodes of "Frasier," one of which earned him a DGA nomination.
Grammer also starred in and served as executive producer of the ABC comedy "Hank."
Also accomplished as a voice-over artist, Grammer plays the character Sideshow Bob on "The Simpsons," for which he won an Emmy in 2006. He has also lent his voice to the feature films Toy Story 2, Anastasia and Teacher's Pet, to the television series "Father of the Pride" and "Gary the Rat," and to the Emmy-nominated "Animal Farm" for TNT.
Grammer's other acting credits include MGM's remake of Fame, Paramount Pictures' Middle Men, Vivendi Universal's An American Carol, Disney's Swing Vote, FOX's blockbuster hit X-Men: The Last Stand, FOX's "Back To You" for which he also served as executive producer, "A Christmas Carol" for NBC, "Benedict Arnold" for A&E, "Mr. St. Nick" for ABC's Hallmark Hall of Fame, 15 Minutes for New Line Cinema, DownPeriscope for 20th Century Fox and Even Money for Yari Film Group.
Grammer began acting in plays at Pine Crest Preparatory School in Fort Lauderdale, where his teenage stage success inspired him to apply to Juilliard. He developed an interest in Shakespeare and began his professional acting career at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego. Reminiscing, Grammer says, "When I was 21, I was painting offices for a famous director. As I stood at the top of the ladder, the casting director of the San Diego Shakespeare Festival looked up at me and said, 'You're an actor, aren't you?' - I don't know how he got this from my butt!" The director offered him the chance to audition, and he spent three years performing Shakespeare and Shaw. He continued in regional theatre, and finally made his way to New York with roles in the off-Broadway productions "Sunday in the Park with George," "A Month in the Country" and the Obie Award-winning "Quartermaine's Terms." He scored on Broadway in "Macbeth" and "Othello."
Before long he appeared in two TV miniseries: first as Stephen Smith in "Kennedy" (NBC, 1983), and next as Lieutenant Stewart in "George Washington" (CBS, 1984). Grammer then landed the role of Dr. Frasier Crane in "Cheers." Originally, the show's creators wanted John Lithgow for a brief recurring role, but the actor was unavailable. Grammer's former Juilliard classmate Mandy Patinkin suggested him to the New York casting director and he got the job, parlaying six episodes into a career that would span two decades, after which he would return to the stage and receive critical acclaim as Professor Higgins in "My Fair Lady." He also performed the title role in "Richard II" and Lucio in "Measure for Measure" at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles.
In 2010, Grammer starred in "La Cage aux Folles" on Broadway for which he received rave reviews as nightclub owner Georges. His performance earned him a Tony nomination for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical.
Grammer was born at St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands and was raised in New Jersey and Florida.
BRIAN SHER – Executive Producer
Gus Van Sant is the executive producer and director of the first episode of the STARZ Original series "Boss."
Van Sant has been winning over critics and audiences alike since bursting onto the scene with his widely acclaimed feature film Mala Noche (1985), which won the Los Angeles Film Critics Award for Best Independent/Experimental Film of 1987. Van Sant's body of work includes many hallmarks of 90's independent cinema, notably Drugstore Cowboy (1989), My Own Private Idaho (1991), and Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (1993). Van Sant's direction of Nicole Kidman in the black comedy To Die For (1995) won a Golden Globe® Award and was screened at the Cannes and Toronto Film Festivals.
Van Sant received a Best Director Academy Award® nomination for Good Will Hunting (1997), which received a total of nine Academy Awards ®. Van Sant followed with the controversial remake of a classic Alfred Hitchcock thriller, Psycho (1998), which was the first shot-for-shot recreation of a film. The new millennium brought the release of the literary drama Finding Forrester (2000).
Van Sant returned to his indie roots with the beautiful and austere Gerry (2002), which he wrote with the film's stars Matt Damon and Casey Affleck. The experience of making Gerry inspired Van Sant to write and direct Elephant (2003), a compelling reverie on a normal day of high school that is destroyed by a Columbine-like massacre. Shot in Van Sant's home town of Portland with a cast of non-actors, Elephant went on to win the Palme d'Or® and Best Director award at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival. Last Days (2005) followed and won a sound design award at Cannes. Next Van Sant adapted the novel Paranoid Park (2007) by Blake Nelson to the screen. Once again he cast non-actors and the film won the 60 th Anniversary Award at Cannes.
In 2008 Van Sant was again nominated for a Best Director Academy Award ® for Milk, which earned a total of 8 nominations, and won in the categories of best actor for Sean Penn's performance as Harvey Milk, and best screenplay for Lance Black's writing. This success was followed by Restless, which will be released in the fall of 2011.
Throughout his career Mr. Van Sant has continued to make evocative short films, which have been winning awards at film festivals worldwide. These works include an adaptation of William S. Burroughs' short story "The Discipline of DE," a deadpan black-and-white gem shown at the New York Film Festival. In 1996 Van Sant directed Allen Ginsberg reading his own poem, "Ballad of the Skeletons," to the music of Paul McCartney and Philip Glass, which premiered at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival. Other acclaimed shorts include Five Ways to Kill Yourself (1987), Thanksgiving Prayer (1991, a re-teaming with Burroughs), Le Marais (2006), a segment of the compilation project Paris, Je T'aime, and Mansion on the Hill (2008), which is part of the UN funded project 8, created to raise awareness about essential issues the world is facing today.
Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Van Sant earned a BA at the Rhode Island School of Design before moving to Hollywood. Early in his career he spent two years in New York creating commercials for Madison Avenue. Eventually he settled in Portland, Oregon, where in addition to directing and producing, he pursued painting, photography, and writing. In 1995 he released a collection of photos entitled "108 Portraits" (Twelvetrees Press) and two years later published his first novel, Pink (Doubleday), a satire on filmmaking. A longtime musician himself, Van Sant has directed music videos for many top recording artists including David Bowie, Elton John, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Hanson.
STELLA BULOCHNIKOV – Executive Producer
Brian Sher is an executive producer of the STARZ Original series "Boss."
Brian Sher began his career as a trainee in the William Morris Agency mailroom in 1997. There he began selling scripts as an assistant, and in 1999, the Broder Kurland agency recruited him as a Motion Picture literary agent. At Broder, Sher quickly made a name for himself by finding and selling several scripts that quickly became films including Serendipity, Dude Where's My Car?, and Not Another Teen Movie.
In 2001, The Hollywood Reporter featured Sher in its prestigious "35 Under 35" list. Sher was the fastest agent to make that list, after just two years on the job. Sher was then recruited by all of the major agencies, and he landed at ICM where he went on to work as an agent for seven years. At ICM, Sher made an immediate impact where he discovered the script Hitch and packaged it with Will Smith. Hitch became the highest grossing romantic comedy in box office history. While Sher continued to grow an impressive client list of writers and directors, he also began working with several of the agency's biggest movie stars, including Richard Gere, Steve Martin, Julia Roberts, Mel Gibson and Denzel Washington. Along with super-agent Ed Limato, Sher became Denzel Washington's primary agent, working with the actor on day-to-day packaging projects, one of which was The Great Debaters, produced by Oprah Winfrey and Harvey Weinstein. He also began signing young actors on his own, including rapper/actor/producer T.I., who was featured in the films ATL, American Gangster and Takers.
Sher departed ICM in 2009, taking several of his highend clients, and started his own management-production company named Category 5 Entertainment, with a goal of producing scripted and non-scripted television shows. He immediately created and executive produced T.I.'s highly rated "Road to Redemption" (MTV) and the highly successful "Michael Vick Project" (BET).
In addition to Category 5, Sher partnered in 2010 with multihyphenate star Kelsey Grammer to run Grammnet Productions, whose long-running projects include the television series "Medium" (NBC), "The Game" (CW), and "Girlfriends" (CW). With Sher, Grammnet immediately developed, packaged, and sold "Boss," Starz new critically acclaimed show that features Grammer in the lead. Grammnet also recently announced a half-hour comedy pilot for USA Network called "The Dicicco Brothers." In the last year Grammnet has also put multiple scripted projects in development at broadcast and cable networks such as FOX, TBS and VH1 to name a few. In 2011, Sher and Grammer partnered with reality maven Stella Bulochnikov to form G3 Entertainment. In the nonscripted space, Sher and Bulochnikov recently created and executive produced VH1's hottest and highest rated show "T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle," which was recently renewed for a second cycle. Separately, G3 has recently sold a game show to TNT and has several talent driven projects in development.
Sher grew up in Baltimore, Maryland and attended Tulane University and the University of Southern California. He has two children: Jake, 10, and Samantha, 7.
BRADFORD WINTERS - Co-Executive Producer & Writer
Stella Bulochnikov is an executive producer of the STARZ Original series "Boss."
Stella Bulochnikov, a television producer, is known for her ability to tap into the zeitgeist and create format-ready shows around A-level talent.
In April 2009, Bulochnikov launched Wikked Entertainment, a programming venture created to produce original entertainment for television. Wikked operates under its own banner.
Led by Bulochnikov, Wikked is marrying talent with scripted and unscripted formats, expanding on the strategy behind programs created at Ish Entertainment, a company Bulochnikov co-founded. Bulochnikov's ability to run wild with innovative ideas and develop them around today's top talent was instrumental in Ish's streak of successful shows and franchises including MTV's "Paris Hilton's My New BFF," "Paris Hilton's my New BFF (UK)," "Paris Hilton's BFF (Dubai)," "T.I.'s Road to Redemption," "50 Cent The Money and the Power," and "DJ AM's Gone Too Far," "My Antonio" (VH1) and a Christmas special starring Larry the Cable Guy (CMT).
At Wikked, Bulochnikov continues building new TV franchises around talent and beyond. She is currently focusing on a slate that includes various high profile artists, reality formats, and scripted projects.
In January 2011, Bulochnikov, Kelsey Grammer and Brian Sher ("T.I.'s Road to Redemption") partnered to run Grammnet (scripted programing) and launched G3 (alternative programing); together they had a straight to series greenlight order on the STARZ Original series "Boss."
Grammnet also recently announced a half-hour comedy pilot for USA Network called "The Dicicco Brothers." In the last year Grammnet has also put multiple scripted projects in development at broadcast and cable networks such as FOX, TBS and VH1 to name a few. Separately, G3 has recently sold a game show to TNT and has several talent driven projects in development.
Prior to co-founding Ish Entertainment in 2007, Bulochnikov helped build the "Celebreality" brand at VH1 as its senior vice president of celebrity talent development. At VH1, Bulochnikov was extremely successful in attracting an eclectic mix of star power to the cable network, including Drew Barrymore, Eva Longoria, The Wayans Brothers, Mo'Nique, Larry the Cable Guy, Jaime Lee Presley, Salt-N-Pepa, and Brooke Hogan.
Bulochnikov was born in the Ukraine and raised in Brooklyn, New York. She currently resides in Bel Air, California with her two daughters Mishka, 9, and Sasha, 6.
JULIE HÉBERT – Co-Executive Producer & Writer
Bradford Winters is a co-executive producer and writer of the STARZ Original series "Boss."
Winters has been a writer and producer for The Levinson/Fontana Company in New York since its inception in 1997. He worked for six seasons on the acclaimed HBO prison drama "Oz," during which he was co-nominated with Tom Fontana for a Writer's Guild Award for Best Dramatic Episode. Outside the company, Winters has worked on, among other projects, ABC's "Six Degrees" and NBC's "Kings."
In addition to serving as co-executive producer and writer on "Boss," Winters is currently in development with Twentieth for the journal Image, Winters lives in Brooklyn with his wife and three children.
PETER GIULIANO – Producer
Julie Hébert is a co-executive producer for the STARZ Original series "Boss".
Previously, Hébert wrote and directed for several hit series, including "ER," "The West Wing," "Numb3rs" and "Blue Bloods." Hébert wrote the feature film Female Perversions which was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance; she also adapted her play "Ruby's Bucket of Blood" into a film for Showtime starting Angela Bassett. Hébert is an awardwinning playwright and theater director. Most recently her play "TREE" won the PEN West Award for Drama.
RICHARD RUTKOWSKI – Director of Photography
Peter Giuliano is the producer of the STARZ Original series "Boss."
His other television producing credits include the series "Law & Order," "Karen Sisco," "Birds of Prey," "Thieves," and "Bull."
His most recent feature film credit was as executive producer on Michael Mann's hit suspense thriller Collateral, starring Tom Cruise, Jada Pinkett Smith and Jamie Foxx, who earned an Oscar® nomination for his work in the film. Prior to that, Giuliano served as executive producer on the Barry Levinson films Sphere, starring Dustin Hoffman and Sharon Stone; Sleepers, starring Brad Pitt and Robert De Niro; Disclosure, starring Michael Douglas and Demi Moore; and Jimmy Hollywood, with Joe Pesci and Christian Slater, on which he was also the first assistant director. In addition, Giuliano was the co-producer and first assistant director on Levinson's Toys, starring Robin Williams and was Levinson's first assistant director on Bugsy and Avalon.
Giuliano began his career as an assistant director, working with such notable directors as Ivan Reitman on Dave, Kindergarten Cop, Twins, Legal Eagles, Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters 2; Francis Ford Coppola on Bram Stoker's Dracula; and Andrew Davis on Above the Law, among others.
Dan Richard Rutkowski is the director of photography on STARZ Original series "Boss."
Rutkowski has shot a broad range of projects including films by Neil Burger, Darren Aronofsky, Adrian Lyne, Joel Schumacher, Wes Craven, and Roman Polanski. In addition to feature films, Rutowski's work also includes commercials, series television and gallery installation pieces. His resume features nearly all modern camera formats, from 16mm to HD, 3D and 35mm anamorphic.
Early in his career, outfitted with mini DV cameras and a minimum of crew, Rutowski's efforts on the indie feature Homework received acclaim and earned the Grand Jury Prize at the 2004 Slamdance Film Festival. At that year's Sundance Festival, Rutkowski's work was represented by Alison Maclean's documentary, Persons of Interest, which chronicled the struggles of men held by the U.S. government without charges after 9/11. In 2003, Rutowski received a Best Cinematography and a Best First Feature nomination at the Independent Spirit Awards for Neil Burger's Interview with the Assassin which was released by Magnolia Pictures. Rutkowski has consistently photographed compelling narrative work. In 2010 he completed the pilot and first season of "Lights Out," a one-hour drama for the FX Network. Starring Holt McCallany, Stacy Keach, Pablo Schreiber and Catherine McCormack, this series premiered to critical acclaim. In 2009, Rutowski shot Beware the Gonzo, a feature directed by Brian Goluboff and starring Zoe Kravitz, Ezra Miller, Campbell Scott and Amy Sedaris, which was released in 2011 by Tribeca Films.
Working over a three-year period with theater director and artist Robert Wilson, Rutkowski recently produced and directed a feature documentary, The Space in Back of You chronicling the influence of Japanese dancer Suzushi Hanayagi on Wilson and a circle of avant-garde collaborators. This moving and visually intense work has been screened at Lincoln Center, the ZKM Museum Karlsruhe, and The Arts Arena in Paris, with screenings planned for San Francisco, Tokyo, and Thessaloniki Greece.
A native of Oklahoma, Rutkowski began making films while a student at Harvard College in studies with Robert Gardner and Ross McElwee.