From College Professors to ABC TV Series Creators

Not long ago, Robin Russin and Reza Aslan were teaching in the MFA Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts programs at the University of California. Today the have a series, OF KINGS AND PROPHETS, on the schedule at ABC. How’d they do it? How can we do it?

Read on:

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by Bettye Miller

A television drama developed by Robin Russin and Reza Aslan, professors in the M.F.A. in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts program at the University of California, Riverside, will air on ABC this fall.

“Of Kings and Prophets” is a one-hour series based on the biblical story of King Saul, the first king of Israel; David, who became the second king of Israel; and the prophet Samuel. It will air Sundays at 10 p.m.

The show, one of five dramatic series ABC picked up, began as a collaboration between Robin Russin, professor of screenwriting, and Aslan’s media company, BoomGen Studios. Aslan is a professor of creative writing. Russin wrote the submission pilot script and will remain on the project as a consultant. Aslan developed the concept and is an executive producer along with Jason Reed and Mahyad Tousi.

ABC describes the series as “an epic Biblical saga of faith, ambition and betrayal as told through the eyes of a battle-weary king, a powerful and resentful prophet and a resourceful young shepherd on a collision course with destiny.”

“King David is revered by more than half the population of the entire planet,” Aslan said. “He’s the world’s first rock star. His kingdom marks the high point of Israel’s history. And yet he was deeply flawed, vain, vengeful, and lustful. He killed his friends and betrayed his wives. But he loved God and God loved him, so much so that He gave him a nickname. He called him ‘Beloved.’ His blood coursed through the veins of Jesus Christ. But few people know the actual story of his rise to power.”

Read it all at UCR Today