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Berlanti, Greg (b. 1972)  
 
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Berlanti's career frustrations abruptly changed in 1998. He had recently finished a draft of the script that would eventually become The Broken Hearts Club. He showed the script to an old college friend, who, coincidentally, happened to know the writer-producer Kevin Williamson, and, unbeknownst to Berlanti, shared the script with him.

At the time, Williamson was at the height of his career, following the tremendous success of the savvy and smartly self-referential horror movie Scream (1995), which Williamson wrote, and its equally successful sequel, Scream 2 (1997). Williamson also wrote the script for the thriller I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997), another commercial success.

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In early 1998, Dawson's Creek, television series created by Williamson, premiered. Williamson was serving as executive producer on the show, which chronicled the complicated love lives of a group of teenagers in a small coastal town in North Carolina. It became an immediate critical and popular hit.

After reading his Broken Hearts Club script, Williamson offered Berlanti a job as one of the staff writers on Dawson's Creek. Berlanti flourished in the job and was later promoted to co-executive producer when Williamson left to pursue other career opportunities at the end of the show's second season.

In both his roles as writer and producer, Berlanti was instrumental in expanding the character of Jack McPhee (played by Kerr Smith), a teenager coming to terms with his homosexuality in a small town. Williamson had introduced McPhee in the show's first season, but Berlanti made him central to the series.

"I wanted to really chronicle what it's like to be a gay kid in high school," Berlanti explained in an interview, "and give him a boyfriend and let him have his first kiss."

It took over a year for Berlanti and Williamson to convince network executives to allow Jack to kiss his boyfriend Ethan (Adam Kaufman) on the show. The landmark event was finally allowed, during the show's third season, in an episode titled "True Love" (first aired May 24, 2000). It was, remarkably, the first romantic kiss between two gay male characters ever aired on network television in the United States.

In 1999, Berlanti took a short break from his duties on Dawson's Creek to direct The Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy, based on his own script. The film centers on Dennis (Timothy Olyphant), a young gay man who yearns for the stability of a committed romantic relationship, and his group of friends who live in and around the predominantly gay Los Angles enclave of West Hollywood (the cast also includes Zach Braff, Dean Cain, Justin Theroux, Andrew Keegan, and John Mahoney, among others).

Dave Kehr, in his review for the New York Times, noted Berlanti's experience on Dawson's Creek, and observed that the film "reflects a benign television personality," and "plays almost like a pilot for a potential series," with its cast of "immediately identifiable and likable characters," its way of "weaving in and out of several different subplots," and "its cozy sense of family and belonging."

The Broken Hearts Club was first shown at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival. It went on to win the 2001 GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) Media Award for Outstanding Film.

After completing the film, Berlanti returned to Dawson's Creek and remained as co-executive producer on the show until 2001, when he left to create and produce the television drama Everwood.

Everwood concerns a recently-widowed Manhattan neurosurgeon who moves, with his two young children, to the fictional small town of Everwood, Colorado. It aired on the WB Network (the same network that aired Dawson's Creek) from 2002 to 2006, but was not renewed for future production when the WB and UPN networks merged to form the CW Television Network in 2006.

Berlanti next co-created, with the novelist and comic book writer Brad Meltzer and the television director Thomas Schlamme, the television drama Jack & Bobby, which ran for only 22 episodes, from September 2004 until May 2005.

The show focuses on two brothers, Jack and Bobby McCallister, one of whom grows up to be the President of the United States. Present-day scenes featuring the two teenage brothers are interspersed with mid-twenty-first century commentators who reflect, documentary-style, on Jack and Bobby's lives and careers.

The show tackled such glbtq issues as gay-teen suicide and won a GLAAD Media Award in 2004 for Outstanding Individual Episode--Series Without a Regular Gay Character, for the episode titled "Lost Boys," which featured the brothers' openly gay uncle Jimmy (Tom Cavanagh).

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