INTERIOR OF VILAS HALL
Saturday morning in a nearly empty film lab. Here we meet a wide-eyed Edward, studiously attempting to edit his Super 8 short for an Introduction to Film class. In the editing bay directly next to Edward sits Adam, who is diligently working on his own film. Edward turns to Adam.
Hey, my film keeps coming through the viewfinder upside down. Is your machine broken, too?
Adam, now contemplating why he didn’t sit in the open seat at the opposite end of the room, simply flips over Edward’s film.
That’s because you had your film upside down.
Edward, impressed with Adam’s moxie thinks, wow, this kid has really got something!
And that, as they say in the business of show (or “show business,” for those not in the industry), was Edward “Eddy” Kitsis ’93 and Adam Horowitz ‘94’s “meet cute.” Just like in the movies, what began with an awkward introduction turned into a regular buddy flick.
“After that less-than-great introduction, we realized each other’s films had similar qualities and we started to come up with ideas for movies and television shows while in Madison,” said Adam.
Then Eddy added, “We even worked for a local show run by a dentist called Hot Tonight. It was on the Fox station but no one saw it because it aired on Thursdays at 10:30 p.m.”
It wasn’t long after both graduated and moved to Los Angeles, though, that this writing team’s work got noticed. Now they’re among the most successful writer/producer partners in television — three Emmy nominations, five Producers Guild of America nominations, and four Writers Guild of America nods with one well-deserved win. Which means it’s due time they receive the This Is Your Life treatment. So we caught up with Adam and Eddy to take a closer look at their shows … and some of the hidden Bucky references inside them.
Fantasy Island (1998–99)
A remake of the ’70s and ’80s series about a mysterious island where people’s fantasies come to life: it dropped Tattoo and his “The plane! The plane!” catchphrase and gave Eddy and Adam in their first job on a network show.
“The show ran for thirteen episodes and we wound up writing five of them,” Adam says.
Eddy interjects, “It wasn’t a successful show, but for two young writers it was a great experience … and it led ABC to recommend us to Ryan Murphy (writer, producer, director) who was doing his very first TV show, called Popular.”
Writing for a show about a mysterious island would serve Eddy and Adam well later on in their careers.