Ira Steven Behr' born 23 October 1953, in New York City, New York, USA is an American television producer and screenwriter, most known for his work on Star Trek, especially Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, on which he served as showrunner and executive producer. He is currently the executive producer and showrunner on Crash.
Behr studied Mass Communications and Theater in Lehman College in New York City. After graduating, Behr turned down a playwriting scholarship at Brandeis University, and instead moved to Los Angeles to pursue a screenwriting career. Although his passion was initially comedy, Behr's first writing job was on the dramatic series Maverick. Behr continued to work on television dramas, throughout the 1980s, among them:
- Jessica Novak (1981, story editor)
- Fame (1982, writer and producer)
- Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1982, writer)
- Bring 'Em Back Alive (1982, writer)
- Once a Hero (1987, writer and producer)
- The Bronx Zoo (1987, writer)
Behr left The Next Generation after a year; but two years later, he rejoined Star Trek as a supervising producer on the new series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. At the start of the second season, Behr was promoted to co-executive producer. The following year, co-creator Michael Piller left to produce the next Star Trek series, Star Trek: Voyager and Behr replaced him as showrunner and executive producer.
Behr went on to write a total of 53 episodes of Deep Space Nine, more than any other writer.
As executive producer, Behr was largely responsible for the story arc of the show, from Bajoran politics to the Dominion War. This prolonged and complex story was a departure from the traditional Star Trek episodic format, and the war narrative was a break from the typically hopeful Star Trek vision of the future.
Behr personally wrote or co-wrote some of the most important episodes in the Dominion arc, including "The Jem'Hadar", "The Search", "The Way of the Warrior", "Broken Link", "Apocalypse Rising", "In Purgatory's Shadow", "By Inferno's Light", "Call to Arms", "Sacrifice of Angels", "Tears of the Prophets" and the final episode, "What You Leave Behind".
Behr also had a significant role in the development of the Ferengi alien race during his work on Deep Space Nine. Although the Ferengi were first introduced in the first season of The Next Generation as a potential major antagonist, they proved unsuccessful, and in subsequent seasons became an occasional source of comic relief. But it was not until Deep Space Nine, which included a Ferengi character in its regular cast, that the Ferengi were truly explored in any depth. Behr was involved with most of the early Ferengi-related episodes, and introduced the concept of the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition and wrote most of the rules which appeared on the show. These rules were later published as The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition, by Quark as told to Ira Steven Behr (ISBN 0-671-52936-6). Along with fellow Deep Space Nine producer Robert Hewitt Wolfe, Behr also co-wrote "Legends of the Ferengi," a collection of short stories involving the Rules of Acquisition.
Post Star Trek periodEdit
Behr left Star Trek following the completion of Deep Space Nine's seven season run in 1999, and has since worked on several television shows, including:
- "Dark Angel" (2000, consulting producer)
- "Bob Patterson" (2001, writer and executive producer)
- "The Twilight Zone" (2002, writer and executive producer)
- "The 4400" (2004, writer and executive producer)
- "Dr. Vegas" (2004 writer and consulting producer)
After "The 4400" was cancelled in mid-December 2007, 4400 writer Amy Berg posted this final message on the subject from Mr. Behr on December 20, 2007:
"'it's a drag, isn't it.' paul mccartney's response to john lennon's murder.
'what an a$$hole' i remember thinking when i first saw the newsclip of mccartney's casual reaction to such an overwhelming tragedy.
but i was wrong.
lennon's death -- it's stunning gut wrenching impact -- was so immediate, so fraught, so painful, that no adequate response was possible, no response was even necessary; the event spoke for itself.
what does the death of a musical/cultural icon have to do with the cancellation of a tv series?
i'll try to explain.
what i'll miss most about the 4400 aren't the actors, though i have only warm feelings toward them all, or even my co-writers, including my partner in crime craig sweeny, because the way the business works we can always find ourselves toiling away together on some other show.
what i'm going to miss most about the 4400 are the characters because the characters have ceased to exist. their stories are over. they're done, finished, gone.
which is why
to me it feels like
tom baldwin is dead, diana skouris is dead, jordan collier is dead, shawn farrell is dead, kyle baldwin is dead. marco dead. burkhoff dead. tess dead. even garrity dead. and on and on and on.
it's a drag isn't it?"
ira steven behr, showrunner.
Crash Season 2 Edit
- In February 2009, Mr. Behr was named head writer for the Starz TV series "Crash" (based on the Paul Haggis film) as it heads into Season 2, which will air in the autumn of 2009.
- In July, Mr. Behr gave the opening remarks on a panel discussion for the second season of "Crash", which were written down by Premium Hollywood journalist Will Harris:
“Crash,” Season 2.
Okay, we’re in Pasadena, but pretend.
Los Angeles is paradise, but paradise comes at a price and everybody pays, and that’s the new season of “Crash.” So I’d like to introduce some of the new characters who will be paying that price this year along with the wonderful Dennis Hopper as Ben Cendars, Ross McCall as Kenny Battaglia, and Jocko Sims as Anthony.
We’ll start with Eric Roberts, who plays Seth Blanchard. Seth Blanchard is a billionaire. That means he has lots of money. He has $28 billion, which probably put him as the third- or fourth-richest man in the country. Seth believes he’s going to bring a football team to Los Angeles. Los Angeles has not been with a professional football team for many years. It’s about time we had one, but Seth is going to discover that football is not his destiny, and he will be bringing something else to Los Angeles. He is going to be thinking outside the box, you know, and usually when we use that cliche, we think outside the box means a new thought. So we can situate ourselves back in the box, but in a somewhat better position. But Seth is going to be thinking outside the box to take us all outside the box and to keep us there.
Then we have Linda Park playing Maggie Blanchard, Seth’s wife. And Maggie is married to a billionaire. It sounds good but we know better. She’s a talent in her own right with her children’s books, but Maggie has a couple of secrets of her own, and she’s going to be dragged by her husband out of their comfort zone and into a new world that they’re going to have to deal with. It’s exciting; it’s different, but not the easiest place to live when you live in a mansion that’s probably worth $30 million.
We also have Bo Olinville, who is played by Jake McLaughlin, who is sitting in the car at the opening montage watching the ball players and Bo is a young man in his 20s, who had a great, great career ahead of him. He was a talented high school pitcher, who blew out his arm way too young during a tryout with the Dodgers and now works in Hobbywood, the hobby shop run by his mother. So Bo’s horizons are quite limited, and like everyone who thinks they live in paradise, he’s going to try to make something of himself in a way that’s going to lead him into some very, very dark places, and eventually he will have a crash with the rest of our cast in a very surprising way.
Then we have Dana Ashbrook, who plays Jimmy, and Jimmy we will all recognize. We’ve all met Jimmys. Jimmy comes to Los Angeles — of course, Los Angeles is the place to come to reinvent yourself. Los Angeles is the city of dreams. It’s the city of tomorrow. So Jimmy is in Los Angeles to become something else. Unfortunately, he doesn’t quite have the skills to become that thing that he wants. So instead he’s the guy who’s always looking for the scam. He’s the guy who’s looking to con you. He’s the guy looking to make the quick buck, and he’s living with Inez played by Moran Atias, who was with us last season.
So these are the people that we have this year on “Crash.” Like I said, they’re here in a city that promises a lot. It doesn’t always deliver, delivers in ways that are surprising, in ways that change them and, in this season, gives them an opportunity to change us all.
Thank you." 
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