Behr, Ira Steven 1953–

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Behr, Ira Steven 1953–

PERSONAL: Born October 23, 1953, in New York, NY; son of Milton and Lillian (Goldman) Behr; married Laura Sally Feder, December 31, 1986; children: two. Education: Graduated from Lehman College.

ADDRESSES: HomeLos Angeles, CA. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Pocket Books, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020-1513.

CAREER: Producer and writer. Story editor, Jessica Novak, Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), 1981; executive script consultant, Fame, syndicated, 1984–86; executive producer of television series, including Fame, syndicated, 1986–87, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, syndicated, 1993–99, Bob Patterson, American Broadcasting Company (ABC), beginning 2001, The Twilight Zone, UPN, 2002–03, and The 4400, 2004; producer of television series, including Once a Hero, ABC, 1987, The Bronx Zoo, National Broadcasting Company (NBC), 1987–88, and Star Trek: The Next Generation, syndicated, 1989–90, and for the science fiction drama Now and Again; supervising producer for pilot of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, syndicated, 1993; consulting producer for television series Dark Angel, Fox, 2000–02, and Dr. Vegas, 2004.

WRITINGS:

(With others) Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (television series), syndicated, 1993–99.

(With Diane L. Carey) Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Search (novelization of television series), Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1994.

The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition: By Quark as Told to Ira Steven Behr (science fiction), edited by Kevin Ryan, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1995.

(With Diane L. Carey) Star Trek: The Way of the Warrior (novel), Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1995.

(With Robert Hewitt Wolf) Legends of the Ferengi (science fiction), Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1997.

Also author of introduction to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Technical Manual, by Herman Zimmerman and Doug Drexler, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1998. Author of scripts for episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, syndicated, 1990–91, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, syndicated, Jessica Novak, CBS, Bret Maverick, NBC, Fame, syndicated, Once a Hero, ABC, The Bronx Zoo, NBC, Bob Patterson, ABC, The Twilight Zone, UPN, The 4400, and Dr. Vegas.

ADAPTATIONS: Legends of the Ferengi was adapted as an audiobook narrated by Armin Shimerman; the novel What You Leave Behind, by Diane Carey, Pocket Books, 1999, is based on an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine by Behr.

SIDELIGHTS: Ira Steven Behr has been working as a television scriptwriter and producer since the 1980s and is best known for his work on the science fiction series Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. A key creator of the humorous, money-grubbing race of space aliens known as the Ferengi, Behr has also written two books about them: The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition: By Quark as Told to Ira Steven Behr and, with Robert Hewitt Wolf, Legends of the Ferengi. In addition, Behr has published stories based on the "Star Trek" universe and has been involved in other science-fiction programming, such as The 4400 and a remake of Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone.

After graduating from Lehman College with majors in theater and mass communications, Behr turned down a scholarship to Brandeis University to move to Los Angeles, California, and begin his career. Originally, he planned to work on comedies for film and television, but he found himself working on series dramas instead, including Jessica Novak and the critically acclaimed Fame, becoming an executive producer for the latter. He did not get involved in the "Star Trek" universe until the third season of Star Trek: The Next Generation. He served as a producer for the show for a time, but left to pursue his interest in screenwriting. In 1993, he returned to science fiction as a producer for another spin-off of "Star Trek" called Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. It was during this show that he helped create the Ferengi.

The Ferengi live by a "moral code" called "The 285 Guiding Principles of Acquisition," which includes such precepts as "Never allow family to stand in the way of opportunity" and "A deal is a deal … until a better one comes along." The code became the subject of The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition, while the history of how the Ferengi developed the code became the idea behind Legends of the Ferengi.

After Star Trek: Deep Space Nine ended its run, Behr tackled another classic of science fiction by working on an updated version of Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone. Working as an executive producer with Pen Densham, Behr tried to revive the spooky, thought-provoking stories Serling had produced to such acclaim. However, as Daily Variety critic Phil Gallo observed, the results are only "so-so," failing "to capture the psychologically disturbing nature of so many of the original episodes." The series was cancelled after a year, and Behr went on to be executive producer of a new series, The 4400. The premise in this show is that 4,400 people from all over the world, who have been missing from anywhere between a few months to over half a century, suddenly reappear on Earth. Apparently the victims of alien abductions, the former captives have to find a way to pick up the pieces of their lives.

Although a large portion of Behr's career has involved science fiction, he has also continued to work on dramas and comedies, including the 2004 program Dr. Vegas, for which he served as a consulting producer and writer, and the comedy series Bob Patterson.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Daily Variety, September 17, 2002, Phil Gallo, review of The Twilight Zone, pp. 10-11.

Entertainment Weekly, September 13, 2002, Dan Snierson, review of The Twilight Zone, p. 75.

Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service, February 17, 2003, Kate O'Hare, review of The Twilight Zone, p. K5932.

New York Times, October 2, 2001, Caryn James, review of Bob Patterson, p. E5.

ONLINE

AllYourTV.com, http://www.allyourtv.com/ (June 9, 2003), "Ira Steven Behr."

Internet Movie Database, http://www.imbd.com/ (May 12, 2005), "Ira Steven Behr."

SciFi.com, http://bboard.scifi.com/ (June 9, 2003), transcript of live chat with Behr.

OTHER

Ira Steven Behr: Biography (press release), UPN, 2002.

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