Writer Spotlight: The World of “Wonderfalls”

One of the most saddening consequences of a television show’s premature closing is the jobs lost by the cast and creative crew, along with the realization that those wonderful talents and beautifully creative minds will no longer be working to create the same magic. Such was the case with Wonderfalls, as its early cancellation meant that only thirteen episodes of the show ever saw the light of day. However, the creative endeavors put forth by the writers of Wonderfalls have ensured its place as one of the quirkiest shows around, as well as one that left the air much too soon. Today we will take a look at the writers who made Jaye Tyler’s world come alive.

Todd Holland

Todd Holland co-created Wonderfalls with Bryan Fuller, and served as an executive producer for the duration of the series. Holland and Fuller co-wrote the original pilot of the show, which never aired on television. Holland directed five of the thirteen episodes, including the aired pilot, “Wax Lion.” Additionally, Holland provided the voice of the penguin muse in the episode “Wound-up Penguin.” His and Fuller’s dedication to the show is evident throughout its run, and their ideas for the show are reflected in the work they both put into it. Holland also has an impressive resume outside of Wonderfalls. He has directed a variety of television shows, including episodes for the original Amazing Stories, Twin Peaks, My So-Called Life, Malcolm in the Middle, 30 Rock, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Most recently, he executive produced ABC’s The Real O’Neals and directed several episodes of the show.

Gretchen J. Berg and Aaron Harberts are a writing duo who worked as supervising producers for four episodes of Wonderfalls and wrote three episodes (“Pink Flamingos”, “Muffin Buffalo”, and “Lovesick Ass”) together. The two writers met as students at Northwestern University and have been writing together ever since. Berg and Harberts worked with Fuller again on Pushing Daisies, where they put their writing talents to work on three episodes. The two have worked together on shows such as Off the Map (also starring Caroline Dhavernas), Reign, and Revenge. The pair is currently serving as executive producers on Star Trek: Discovery.

Krista Vernoff

Krista Vernoff wrote Wonderfalls episodes “Crime Dog”, “Lying Pig”, and “Caged Bird.” She also served as a producer on the show. Prior to her work on Wonderfalls, Vernoff worked as co-producer and story editor on the acclaimed show Charmed. She has also written a variety of episodes for Grey’s Anatomy and several of its spinoff shows. Her most recent work can be seen on HBO’s Shameless, for which she writes and executive produces.

Dan E. Fesman served as a co-producer on all thirteen episodes of Wonderfalls in addition to writing “Lovesick Ass” and “Totem Mole.” However, this was not the first time Fesman had worked with Fuller. They first met during Dead Like Me, for which Fesman also wrote and co-produced. His witty writing is exactly the sort that makes Fuller’s works so vastly enjoyable. Fesman has since worked on Eureka, NCIS, and Grimm, both producing and writing for all three shows. Currently, he executive produces and writes for NBC’s The Blacklist: Redemption.

Liz W. Garcia

Liz W. Garcia wrote the episodes “Wound-up Penguin” and “Safety Canary” for Wonderfalls. Since Wonderfalls, she has produced and written for television shows Cold Case and Memphis Beat. Most recently, she wrote, directed, and produced indie movie One Percent More Humid, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival this past April. She frequently and strongly advocates for the exposure of sexism in the media, especially when it comes to women in film and television.

Tim Minear

Tim Minear is probably best known for his work on The X-Files and Firefly, but he also wrote two Wonderfalls episodes, “Karma Chameleon” and “Barrel Bear.” Additionally, he worked as an executive producer for all its episodes. His more recent work can be seen in American Horror Story, as he has produced and written for the show since 2011. He has also been at work on FX’s show Feud, for which he wrote four episodes and executive produced.

Harry Victor wrote Wonderfalls episodes “Lovesick Ass” and “Totem Mole” alongside Dan E. Fesman as well as co-produced four episodes of the show. He also worked on Dead Like Me with Fuller, serving as a writer for three episodes and co-producing nine episodes. He worked on Sci-Fi’s Eureka as a supervising producer and writer.

Abby Gewanter served as a writer on the episode “Lying Pig.” This was her first major credit as a screenwriter. She later went on to write two episodes of Pushing Daisies. Her most recent work was as a producer and writer on the show Graves.

Alexander Woo wrote the episode “Safety Canary.” Since then, he has written a dozen episodes for HBO’s True Blood and recently wrote the screenplay for a tv movie known as The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

Although we were only able to witness these writers’ work on Wonderfalls for one season, their dedication is extremely evident and crucial to the show. Despite the show’s early cancellation, many of these writers are still active in the television field, lending their talents and passions to many wonderful shows as we look back and appreciate their work on Wonderfalls.

Amelia Cassidy
About Amelia Cassidy 23 Articles
Amelia, also known as Lee, resides in Simi Valley, California and is currently studying English and Film in college with the goal of becoming an editor for novels and screenplays. A lifetime devotee of writing, Lee enjoys any opportunity in which to explore her two main passions: storytelling and the English language. In addition to writing short stories, poetry, and film critiques, Lee enjoys Broadway musicals and dreams about traveling to New York City and one day meeting Fullerverse regular Raúl Esparza.

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