Peabody Award-winning writer/producer David Manson has built a career on developing and producing challenging material. From the controversial ABC drama Nothing Sacred to the powerful Alan Parker film Birdy, from the uncompromising slave drama Nightjohn to the Sting documentary Bring on the Night, Manson's tastes have been provocative and eclectic.
A magna cum laude graduate of the University of California at Irvine, Manson began his career in the theater and worked as an actor, director or stage manager for such prestigious theaters as the Mark Taper Forum, Playwrights Horizon and the Manhattan Theater Club.
He started in the film business working for Dick Berg's Stonehenge Productions, where he produced his first film, The Spell, for NBC when he was only 24 years old. As senior vice president of Stonehenge, he produced several other movies and miniseries, including the first important television film about the Vietnam War, A Rumor of War, which The New York Times called "unusually ambitious and admirable," while The Washington Post called it "as true as a movie is going to get."
Manson formed his own company, Sarabande Productions, when he was 28. Since then, he has produced, written or directed a number of critically praised television productions, including co-creating and executive producing the Peabody Award-winning drama Nothing Sacred and such films as Rising Son, which introduced the world to Matt Damon; the highly rated Sessions, starring Veronica Hamel; and Nightjohn, directed by Charles Burnett, which was the recipient of a Special Citation Award from the National Society of Film Critics and which The New Yorker named the best American movie of the year. Manson was co-creator and executive producer of the FOX series Against the Law and made his directorial debut with Those Secrets for ABC, which he also executive-produced. He collaborated with his father, film composer Eddy Manson, on the Christopher Award-winning Eye on the Sparrow and A Love Affair: The Eleanor and Lou Gehrig Story.
In features, he executive-produced Birdy, starring Matthew Modine and Nicolas Cage, which garnered the Special Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. He then produced Bring on the Night, directed by Michael Apted, starring Sting, which claimed a Grammy Award for best long form video. His other credits include The Cemetery Club, starring Ellen Burstyn and Danny Aiello, and the Drew Barrymore-Chris O'Donnell film Mad Love, both for Touchstone Pictures.
Manson more recently executive-produced several films with his wife, writer-producer Arla Sorkin Manson including CBS' highly rated telefilm, The Wedding Dress. He also executive-produced two films for TNT: Thicker Than Blood, based on Bill Cain's award-winning play, Stand-Up Tragedy; and Manson's WGA Award-nominated adaptation of Baby, which starred Farrah Fawcett and Keith Carradine. On the pilot front, Manson wrote Uncivil Wars for FX and as a director/writer, Manson is developing Silent Spring: The Rachel Carson Story, for Glenn Close to star.
In the past year, he served as a consulting producer on the provocative HBO series, Big Love, and he just finished executive-producing the FX series, Thief, starring Andre Braugher.