The TV Writers Studio Presents: The Almost Legendary Jonathan Frakes

Who are we kidding? Jonathan Frakes is legendary.  After co-starring on seven seasons as Commander Riker, serving with Sir Patrick Stewart’s Picard on Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG), Jonathan Frakes is a household name. But we know Jonathan as an honored friend of the TVWSwho has directed two of the program’s annual films.  And this Monday, November 27th, Jonathan Frakes will join us at 2:30PM EST.

Yes, he’s primarily known as an actor, but Jonathan’s career has exploded in many diverse ways.  He is also one of television’s busiest and most sought-after director/producers today.  Where do we start?  How about the beginning?

He was born in Bellefonte Pennsylvania, the son of Doris and Dr. James Frakes, the Fairchild Professor of American Studies at Lehigh University, and a New York Times Book Review critic. Jonathan studied theater and got his BFA from Penn State University, then followed up with a Masters from Harvard.  His acting career began in New York in 1978 with a role on Broadway in the musical “Shenandoah.”  Yes, he can sing and will do so without any prompting at any time of the day or night.

But his future was not to be in New York.  Jonathan moved to Los Angeles and quickly started winning guest starring appearances on some of the top TV programs of the time like Charlie’s Angels, Fantasy island, The White Shadow, Hill Street Blues, The  Waltons, Falcon Crest and Dukes of Hazzard. Then, of course, came the break most actors dream of, an iconic role in a hit TV series.  1987 saw Jonathan breathe life into the Commander Riker character on Star Trek: The Next Generation, which would last for seven years and 176  episodes

During his tenure on Star Trek: TNG Jonathan cut his teeth as a director, helming eight episodes of the series and two spin-offs Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager as well as the Star Trek film, First Impact.

Along with his frantic directing career, still does guest appearances as an actor on a variety of TV series and lends his voice to shows like Guardians of the Galaxy, Futurama, Family Guy and Adventure Time. He’s taken his directing talents to new levels, having directed episodes of the new Seth MacFarlane entry The Orville, as well as CastleThe Arrangement, and season four of The Librarian, which he also produced. He has also directed an episode of the latest Star Trek entry, Star Trek: Discovery

I think we’ve said just enough about this guy, haven’t we?  Jonathan is a consummate professional and, to borrow a baseball term, a “five-tool” player.  He has done and continues to do it all in his long and storied career and his relationship with the TVWS is deep and affectionate. He is a joyful person and you will not want to miss the live stream and Q&A  of his lecture tomorrow, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27TH AT 2:30PM EST.

The live stream will be available to watch on our YouTube channel, starting at 2:30pm. To view the live stream click (or copy and paste) the link below and the lecture will be available, as well as our past lectures.

If you have any questions for Jonathan that you would like asked during the session you can email them in advance and we will do our best to incorporate them into the Q&A. If you have any issues with the live stream, please also and we will do our best to alleviate the issue.