Major Crimes Production Biographies
James Duff began his career in the arts as a stage actor in Texas and New York. While between projects, he decided to write a play as a creative outlet and his first work was the Broadway drama Home Front, which was later re-titled The War at Home before having a successful worldwide run in London, Stockholm, Athens, Tel Aviv, Johannesburg, Brussels, Amsterdam and Australia. The play was made into a feature film starring Kathy Bates, Martin Sheen, Emilio Estevez, Kimberly Williams and Carla Gugino. Duff’s play A Quarrel of Sparrows went from regional theater productions to off-Broadway’s Promenade Theatre and won a Dramalogue Award during its run in Los Angeles.
Duff’s first work for television was the television film Doing Time on Maple Drive, which starred James Sikking and Jim Carrey and earned Duff an Emmy® nomination. Duff also wrote the television films Without a Kiss Goodbye and Betrayed: The Story of Three Women.
In addition to writing almost twenty pilots and an episode of Star Trek: Enterprise, Duff also worked as a writer/producer in series television on a variety of shows including Popular, Felicity, Wolf Lake, and The Agency. Duff created the series The D.A. – starring Steven Weber, Bruno Campos and Sarah Paulson - with Greer Shephard and Michael M. Robin. He then created and produced The Closer, also with Shepherd/Robin, which debuted on TNT in 2005. The Closer, which starred Emmy® winner Kyra Sedgwick and Oscar® winner J.K. Simmons, ran for seven seasons, set ratings records and won numerous awards; it also helped raise the profile of basic cable as an intelligent alternative to broadcast television. The Closer’s ensemble cast struck a chord with audiences and was awarded five Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama series.
Many of The Closer’s cast members remain with Major Crimes, which Duff created and executive- produces. Major Crimes begins its fourth season on TNT on June 8.
Duff was awarded the prestigious Producer’s Caucus Award for Best Writer in 2013. In 2007 he was nominated for the Mystery Writers of America's Edgar Award for his work on The Closer.
Michael M. Robin
Michael M. Robin is an award-winning producer and director who has worked on such high-profile series as NYPD Blue, Nip/Tuck and TNT's The Closer, Rizzoli & Isles, Major Crimesand Dallas. He has earned Producing Emmys® for NYPD Blue and L.A. Law as well as three Golden Globes® for NYPD Blue, L.A. Law and Nip/Tuck.
Robin formed The Shephard/Robin Company with Greer Shephard in 1998. Their producing success includes Nip/Tuck, The Closer, Longmire, Major Crimes, Trust Me, State of Mind, The D.A., Popular and Brutally Normal.
In his more than two decades in the television industry, Robin has directed 11 drama pilots, including the pilots for TNT's The Closer, Rizzoli & Isles, Major Crimes and Dallas. He has directed a total of 19 episodes of The Closer and three episodes of Rizzoli & Isles.
Robin began his career as a production assistant on the hit series L.A. Law, where he worked his way up to producer in the fourth season and later received an Emmy for his work on the series. He then segued to Cop Rock as a producer, where he made his directorial debut. He added a second producing Emmy and directing nomination for his work on NYPD Blue. Robin spent 11 years working for Steven Bochco before branching out on his own on the ABC TV show C-16. Following C-16, he began the Shephard/Robin Co. with Greer Shephard. They are now in their 16th year together.
A co-founder of The Shephard/Robin Company, Greer Shephard is former vice president of drama series programming for ABC. In that role, she supervised both drama development and current series programming.
Shephard began her television career in 1989 as a manager of comedy and drama development at Walt Disney Television. She joined ABC in 1991 as associate director of current series programming. She was promoted to director, dramatic series development, in 1993, and then elevated to vice president in 1995.
During her tenure at ABC, Shephard helped develop the Peabody Award-winning Nothing Sacred; the Emmy® and Golden Globe®-winning The Practice; Robert Altman's Gun; Cracker; and Relativity. Shephard then served as a producer on Nothing Sacred and C-16 before launching The Shephard/Robin Company. She has since directed episodes of The Closer, Nip/Tuck, Trust Me and State of Mind.
Rick Wallace began his professional career as the artistic director of Pegasus Productions, a theatre company in Los Angeles. He started directing television in 1981 on the much-acclaimed series Hill Street Blues.
Wallace came to The Closer as executive producer in its fifth season, having directed five episodes over the first four years of the series. He has directed episodes of more than 35 other series and has won three Emmys® for Outstanding Drama Series. He was nominated twice for Outstanding Directing in a series. His directing credits include episodes of Hill Street Blues, LA Law, NYPD Blue, Murder One, Law & Order: S.V.U., and Sleeper Cell. Wallace has served as an executive producer and director on such series as L.A. Law, City Of Angels, Philly, Peacemakers, Commander In Chief, Men In Trees and Women's Murder Club. Wallace has directed seven television pilots, including Doogie Howser M.D. and The Pretender, which he also executive-produced.
Wallace lives in Los Angeles with his wife and children.
Adam Belanoff is a graduate of Columbia University and the University of Southern California School of Cinema-Television. His television credits as a writer and producer include Star Trek: The Next Generation, Judging Amy, Wings, Murphy Brown, Cosby, Titus, and The Closer. He is currently a writer and executive producer of Major Crimes.
The son of a wandering agricultural engineer, Leo Geter grew up in Indiana, Afghanistan, Nepal, Haiti, Mexico, St. Kitts and Indonesia. He began his professional career as a theater actor. He also has over 30 screen acting credits, including the feature films Footloose, No Way Out and Near Dark, as well as the television series Evening Shade and Northern Exposure. In the late 1980s, he was also a series regular on the Alan Burns' comedies Eisenhower and Lutz and FM.
Geter's theatre directing credits include Kiss of the Spiderwoman, which traveled to the Kennedy Center in 1994 as an American College Theatre Festival Winner; Baal; Steel Magnolias; Wait Until Dark; Bus Stop; Rabbit Hole; the World Premiere of Timothy Mason's Six at the Guthrie Lab in Minneapolis; and Katherine Burger's Morphic Resonance, which received the Best Directing and Best Ensemble Acting Award from the L.A. Weekly in 1997. In 2012, he wrote and directed the full-length comedy, Naked Before God, for the acclaimed Circle X Theatre Company in Los Angeles.
His film directing credits include his short film Andy Across the Water, which screened in over 20 international festivals and won multiple awards, including Best Comedy at the Aspen Shortsfest and Best Fiction Film at the USA Film Festival in Dallas. It was also a regional semi-finalist for a Student Academy Award in 2001. Geter has also directed three episodes of TNT's Major Crimes, including the Season Three Finale.
As a writer for television, Geter has written many hour-long scripts. His first two jobs, the Fox drama Skin and the CBS crime drama Close to Home, were both created by his friend and mentor, Jim Leonard. Geter served as a writer-producer on TNT's The Closer from 2008 to 2012 and as executive producer on Major Crimes since 2012. He holds a BA in English from the University of Utah, an MFA in theater from the University of Utah and an MFA in film from New York University. Geter lives in Los Angeles and New York with his partner of 17 years, playwright and author Timothy Mason.
Andrew J. Sacks
Academy Award winner Andrew Sacks started his career as a project coordinator with Landmark Entertainment Group, helping to create a theme park in Oita, Japan. After returning to the United States, he began his work in television on the series Beverly Hills, 90210.
Sacks continued to work on several projects for Spelling, Touchstone and Warner Bros. Television. His feature credits include The Opposite of Sex; Shirley MacLaine's directorial debut, Bruno; and Adaptation, directed by Spike Jonze. He has worked on several projects for The Shephard/Robin Company, including Brutality Normal, Elementary and Beck and Call, as well as co-producing the series The D.A and producing TNT's The Closer, both with executive producer James Duff.
In 2004, Sacks won an Oscar for producing the short film Two Soldiers. The following year, he, he was invited to become a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Sacks is a member of the Board of Directors for the Sunshine Kids Foundation. This non-profit organization, for which The Closer and Major Crimes cast member G.W. Bailey is Executive Director, serves children with cancer from all over the United States and Canada.