Wells, a moderate, to again seek WGA presidency [updated]
John Wells, the executive producer behind "Southland" and the hits "ER" and "West Wing," may have a second act at the Writers Guild of America.
The nominating committee of the Writers Guild of America, West on Monday announced that Wells (pictured) was one of two candidates qualified to run as president of the union in board elections this fall.
Wells, who keeps an office on the Warner Bros. lot, is known as a moderate whom some writers criticize as being too cozy with the studios. He was president of the guild from 1999 to 2001. He will run against Elias Davis, who is currently the union's treasurer and a supporter of outgoing president Patric Verrone, who is finishing his second term and cannot run for a third because of term limits.
Verrone led the union during a 100-day strike that shut down TV production last year. Although Wells supported the strike, he was among a group of high-profile writer-producers who helped pave the way for a settlement.
There are 16 candidates nominated to run for eight open seats on the guild's board of directors. Votes will be tallied Sept. 18.
-- Richard Verrier
UPDATE: Reached in Hawaii, where he was vacationing with his family, Wells said he chose to run after a member of the guild's nominating committee approached him. "I care a lot about the guild and have been meeting to get back in it,'' Wells says. "I was on the board and involved in various committee work for 14 years. I just took a reasonable break." Wells says he believed his experience would help the guild in the next round of negotiations as Hollywood continues to grapple with recession and the spread of online entertainment. "The business is going through extraordinary changes,'' he says."I'm hoping some of my experience members will see as valuable."
Photo: Jill Connelly/AP