Agent X Production Bios
Armyan Bernstein is Chairman of Beacon Pictures, one of the most successful independently financed film companies in the entertainment business. His films, actors, and directors have been nominated for Golden Globes, Baftas, People's Choice and Academy Awards, as well as gone on to generate billions of dollars in revenue for distributors and exhibitors throughout the world.
Bernstein has produced, executive produced, written or directed more than 40 films, including Air Force One, starring Harrison Ford; The Hurricane (which he also co-wrote), starring Denzel Washington; Spy Game, starring Brad Pitt and Robert Redford; Family Man, starring Nicolas Cage; Ladder 49, starring John Travolta and Joaquin Phoenix; The Guardian, starring Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher; Children of Men, starring Clive Owen; Dawn of The Dead, directed by Zack Snyder; Bring It On, starring Kirsten Dunst; Open Range, starring Kevin Costner, Robert Duvall and Annette Bening; Thirteen Days, starring Kevin Costner; A Lot Like Love, starring Ashton Kutcher and Amanda Peet; Raising Helen, starring Kate Hudson and John Corbett; For Love Of The Game, starring Kevin Costner; Firewall, starring Harrison Ford, Virginia Madsen and Paul Bettany; End of Days, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger; and The Waterhorse, directed by Jay Russell. Bernstein has received many awards including being honored as Showest Producer of the Year, and winning the coveted USC Scripter Award for his screenplay The Hurricane.
In television, Bernstein is the Executive Producer of the hit ABC series, Castle, starring Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic – created by Andrew Marlowe, who wrote Air Force One and End of Days for Beacon. Castle is now entering its eight season. He is also the founder and chairman of the upcoming new reality show and sports league The People's Games.
Bernstein was also the producer of the critically acclaimed Broadway musical Bring It On, choreographed and directed by Andy Blankenbuehler, with music and lyrics by Amanda Greene, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Tom Kitt, and a book by Jeff Whitty. Bring It On was also nominated for a Tony for Best Musical.
Bernstein founded Beacon Communications in 1990 with his college fraternity brother, Tom Rosenberg, who now has his own successful film company, Lakeshore Entertainment. Bernstein was also a partner with Charlie Lyons and the Ascent Entertainment Group which owned the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, On-Command and Spectravision.
Other films produced by Bernstein and Beacon Pictures include The Commitments, directed by Alan Parker, which was nominated for a Golden Globe® as Best Picture and went on to win four BAFTA Awards; Keith Gordon's critical triumph A Midnight Clear, starring Ethan Hawke; A Thousand Acres, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, starring Michelle Pfeifer and Jessica Lange; Sugar Hill, starring Wesley Snipes; Playing God, starring David Duchovny and Angelina Jolie; Princess Caraboo, starring Phoebe Cates and Kevin Kline; The Road To Wellville, directed by Alan Parker and starring Anthony Hopkins; and the TNT adaptation of David Mamet's A Life In The Theatre, which won a CableACE for Best Drama.
Bernstein was born and raised in Chicago and attended the University of Wisconsin. He was a broadcast journalist with PBS and then with ABC. He wrote the cult classic Thank God It's Friday, starring Debra Winger and Jeff Goldblum. He then wrote and co-produced Francis Ford Coppola's legendary Vegas romance, One From The Heart. Bernstein made his directing debut with Windy City (AKA All The Sad Young Men) from his screenplay. The film starred John Shea and Kate Capshaw. He also co-wrote and directed Cross My Heart, starring Martin Short and Annette O'Toole. In addition, he wrote and produced ABC's Emmy Award–winning The Earth Day Special.
It has been rumored that Bernstein grew up a Chicago Cubs fan and listened on the radio to over 100 Cubs losses in one year…which is said to have had a profound influence on his philosophy of life.
William Blake Herron
A Texan by birth and heritage, William Blake Herron eventually relocated with his family to Chicago, Illinois, and then subsequently to Faribault, Minn., where he graduated valedictorian of the Shattuck School. A summer season working at the Guthrie Theatre for eminent directors Liviu Ciulei and Richard Foreman preceded his matriculation into Middlebury College. There, Herron entered the institute's elite Russian faculty and went on to spend his junior year studying at the Pushkin Institute in Moscow, where he received acting training from members of the Tagantka Theatre and various 'underground' dramatic companies.
Upon returning to the States, Herron moved to New York with his rock band, Neon Scream, and performed in such famed venues as CBGB's, The Pyramid Club, and the Bitter End. At the same time, Mr. Herron supported his musical aspirations by working as a paralegal for Wall Street law firm Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver and Jacobsen. Herron's time was spent equally between assisting entertainment industry clients and working on multimillion dollar and billion dollar corporate takeovers. Rather than continue on the expected path to law school, Herron applied to New York University's competitive graduate film program. Following his acceptance, he won over twelve national and international awards for his film shorts, including the Princess Grace Award for Emerging Artists.
During this starving artist period, Herron supported his 'film habit' through a variety of odd jobs, among them – press liaison for Billy Joel during his tour of the Soviet Union, patient supervisor at an asylum for violent retarded men, building demolition worker and test subject for an electric shock pain study. Out of poverty came a prolific period of writing, yielding two screenplays which finished simultaneously in the semifinals of the Motion Picture Academy's Nichol Fellowship and a third which ascended to the Top 20 of the Sundance Writer's Lab.
With accolades under arm, Herron moved to Hollywood and was quickly given a writing assignment at Warner Brothers. Over the following years Herron wrote for literally every major studio, in both film and TV. Eventually he returned to his passion of directing with the semi-autobiographical film A Texas Funeral, starring Martin Sheen, Joanne Whalley, Robert Patrick, and Chris Noth. The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival, where it received a standing ovation. Critics enthusiastically embraced the movie when it was released theatrically in Europe and as a domestic cable premiere on Starz. Three of his scripts have subsequently been realized by other directors: The Bourne Identity (Universal), Ripley Underground (Lionsgate) and Role Models (Universal, story by credit).
Herron is presently creator and showrunner on TNT's action-adventure series Agent X. He is an avid martial artist and holds expert level belts in two fighting systems. He lives with his wife, 12-year-old son, and 9-year-old daughter in the Pacific Palisades, Calif.
Jesse Alexander is an award winning writer and producer of TV, movies, video games and comic books. He is currently an executive producer on TNT's new series Agent X. He was a co-executive producer on third season of the Starz original series DaVinci's Demons and an executive producer and consulting producer on the first two seasons of the NBC series Hannibal.
Alexander was also a co-executive producer and writer on the first three seasons of NBC's Heroes and an executive producer on five seasons of J.J. Abrams' innovative serial spy drama Alias. He helped develop the pilot of ABC's groundbreaking serial adventure Lost, serving as a co-executive producer through the first season and sharing the Emmy® for Outstanding Drama with his fellow producers.
Alexander has been an innovator in the field of transmedia storytelling: the process of extending narrative across multiple media platforms simultaneously. This strategy was critical to the success of Alias and Lost. The transmedia content he designed for Heroes established a new paradigm for how television shows can thrive across platforms. In 2008, Alexander shared an Emmy for the Heroes online content. He has brought his vision of a transmedia future to M.I.T., Lucasfilm, NewTeeVee, Game Developers Conference, Microsoft Research, The AFI, SMPTE, UBISOFT, USC, BBDO Energy and others.
Suzann Ellis is the President of Beacon Films and Television. In addition to developing and executive producing Agent X, Ellis is shepherding Beacon’s extensive slate of television projects including Horizon, a 12-hour limited series to be directed by Kevin Costner; Carry The World for F/X, based on Diana Castle’s acclaimed play; and Repairman Jack, based on a series of novels by Dr. F. Paul Wilson, and supervising the company’s co-financing joint venture with Entertainment One. As head of Beacon Films, Ellis is overseeing the company’s lineup of projects that include: Not of This World, with Colin Farrell starring and producing; Failan, written by Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Jose Rivera; and A Little War of Our Own, starring and to be directed by Kevin Costner. Ellis' other film credits include: The Hurricane, which starred Denzel Washington, and A Lot Like Love, starring Ashton Kutcher and Amanda Peet. Ellis also developed and co-produced the DreamWorks box-office smash Galaxy Quest, which starred Tim Allen and Sigourney Weaver.
Ellis is a graduate of UCLA with a degree in theatre. Her career began with the commercial production house The Power & Light Picture Company. She joined Beacon in 1991.
Peter O'Fallon has a unique identifiable ability to combine and turn the dark and raw side of life into heart and humor. Born and raised in Colorado, he attended the University of Colorado Boulder, where he earned a degree in film studies. O'Fallon began his career more than two decades ago in commercials, winning multiple Cleo, DNAD and one show awards for his unique and innovative creative style. O'Fallon is one of Hollywood's top television pilot directors, with the success of 13 out of 14 pilots going to series.
O'Fallan has fast become known as "the indie director of American TV." He directed indie cult feature film Suicide Kings, starring Christopher Walken and Dennis Leary. He co-wrote and directed festival favorite A Rumor of Angels, an MGM release starring Vanessa Redgrave and Ray Liotta and Catharine McCormic.
Between film projects, O'Fallon has directed an impressive stream of well-known pilots from many genres, including American Gothic for CBS, That Was Then for ABC, Eureka for Syfy, The Glades for AMC and the critically acclaimed series The Riches, starring Eddie Izzard and Minnie Driver, for which O'Fallon also served as executive producer. He also created and wrote Mysterious Ways, an NBC series that ran for two seasons.
O'Fallon co-created and directed Legit, starring comedian Jim Jeffries in one of the best-reviewed FX comedy series of the last few years. O'Fallon co-wrote all 26 episodes and directed 24. In addition to serving as executive producer on the new TNT series Agent X, he directed the five of the 10 episodes, including the pilot. He also serves as executive producer and pilot director for Lifetime's Unreal, starring Constance ZImmer and Sherry Appleby.