Greg Garcia

Greg Garcia Headshot

Director • Producer • Writer

Birth Date: April 4, 1970

Age: 54 years old

Birth Place: Arlington County, Virginia

Writer/producer Greg Garcia found success in the early 2000s and beyond with a string of popular TV sitcoms that mined the personality quirks of society's more marginalized figures, including "Yes, Dear" (CBS 2000-06), "My Name is Earl" (NBC 2005-09) and "Raising Hope" (Fox 2010-14). Garcia's career began in regional radio, but he had worked on television scripts since his college days. After moving to Los Angeles in the early '90s, he labored as a writer on "Family Matters" (ABC 1989-98) and consulting producer on "Family Guy" (Fox 1999-2003, 2005- ) while shepherding several short-lived series. Garcia finally struck pay dirt with "Yes, Dear," a conventional sitcom anchored by the clash between its central characters, a wealthy Los Angeles couple and their working-class relations. Garcia would continue to explore the oddities of the upper and lower classes in the more successful "My Name is Earl" and "Raising Hope," though to his credit, neither program poked fun at its eccentric characters. Instead, Garcia's series were marked by a genuine affection for their small-time criminals, supermarket managers and pool cleaners, who were celebrated for their tenacity and commitment to their sprawling families. The slew of awards and nominations received by Garcia's programs during their network runs, including an Emmy for Outstanding Writer for "Earl," cemented his status as one of television's most democratic-minded and successful creators.

Born Gregory Thomas Garcia on April 4, 1970 in Arlington County, Virginia, he attended Yorktown High School before earning his bachelor's degree in Speech Communication and Theatre from Frostburg State University in 1992. While there, he also participated in Warner Bros. Writing for Television courses, which provided him with his first experience in the business: Garcia won a Warner Bros.-sponsored scriptwriting contest with a script for "Cheers" (NBC 1982-1993) that granted him a week of behind-the-scenes access to the ABC sitcom "Room for Two" (1992-1993). Upon his graduation from Frostburg, Garcia talked his way into a board operator position on "The Tony Kornheiser Show," a popular sports radio talk show in Washington, D.C. After six months on the show, Garcia left for Los Angeles to pursue a career in television production. In 1994, he landed his first writing job on the short-lived ABC sitcom "On Our Own" (1994-95), which led to a three-year stint with "Family Matters" as a writer and story editor. While working on "Family Matters," Garcia served as co-creator and executive producer on two short-lived sitcoms, "Built to Last" (NBC 1997) with comedian Royale Watkins, and "Getting Personal" (USA Network 1998) with Vivica A. Fox. Garcia rebounded in 2000 with a year as a consulting producer on "Family Guy" before landing his first hit series with the comedy "Yes, Dear." The series starred Anthony Clark and Jean Louisa Kelly as upper-middle-class Los Angeles couple Greg and Kim - named after Garcia and his wife, Kim Ludke Garcia - whose home was turned upside down by the arrival of Kim's sister (Liza Snyder) and her freewheeling husband (Mike O'Malley). Though dismissed by critics as formulaic, the series remained in the Top 40 for the majority of its tenure on the air before its cancellation in 2006, and underscored Garcia's firm grasp of classic television tropes and family comedies. While working on the final season of "Yes, Dear," Garcia penned the pilot for what would eventually become one of his best-known programs, "My Name is Earl." The series, which revolved around incorrigible ne'er do well Earl Hickey (Jason Lee) and his attempts to right the numerous wrongs he committed during his lifetime, became a fan favorite. Its broad humor and eccentric characters, played to the hilt by a supporting cast led by Ethan Suplee as Earl's slow-witted brother and Jamie Pressley as his vengeful ex-wife, made the show an immediate success. "Earl" was not only a huge ratings hit during its first three seasons, but earned a slew of accolades, including a 2006 Emmy and Humanitas Prize for its pilot episode, as well as four Writers Guild and two BAFTA nominations. Unfortunately, NBC canceled the program after its fourth season finale, a cliffhanger that remained unanswered, to the dismay of the show's many fans. (The pilot of "Raising Hope," which features many of the same actors and is set in a town just down the road from "Earl"'s fictional location of Camden, features an in-joke that obliquely wraps up Earl Hickey's story.) Garcia's next project, "Raising Hope," was quickly booked for a series commitment by Fox. Cut from the same small-town-oddball cloth as "Earl," the series starred Lucas Neff as a hapless young man whose one-night stand with a serial killer produced a baby that he attempts to raise with his parents (Martha Plimpton and Garret Dillahunt), who were themselves teenagers when Jimmy was born. The show, which frequently featured crossover elements with both "Yes, Dear" and "Earl," also became a ratings hit as well as a multiple Emmy nominee. Featured among its sprawling cast of supporting characters was Garcia's own son, Trace Garcia (listed in the credits simply as "Trace!"), who played Jimmy in flashback sequences. While enjoying his third round of television success, Garcia brought two pilots for proposed series to CBS for pickup. The first, "Super Clyde" (2013), an offbeat comedy about a food clerk (Rupert Grint) who decided to become a super hero, was rejected by the network. The other, a more traditional sitcom called "The Millers" (CBS, 2013-15), featured Will Arnett as a divorced news reporter who must contend with his parents (Beau Bridges and Margo Martindale) after their own divorce. Though reviews were generally unfavorable, the program performed well in the ratings.

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