When your first job is with Lorne Michaels' production company, you definitely hit the ground running. That is exactly how director and producer John Fortenberry started, and right out of the gate he...
Jackson, Mississippi, USA
|Medusa: Dare to Be Truthful||Director||n/a||4|
|Fred 2: Night of the Living Fred||Director||n/a||4|
|Arrested Development||2012 2002 - 2012||Director||n/a||4|
|Everybody Loves Raymond||2004 1995 - 2004||Director||n/a||4|
|The Bernie Mac Show||2005 2000 - 2005||Director||n/a||4|
|Lucky||2002 2001 - 2002||Director||n/a||4|
|I'm With Her||2003 2002 - 2003||Director||n/a||4|
|It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia||2014 2003 - 2014||Director||n/a||4|
|Blue Mountain State||2011 2008 - 2011||Director||n/a||4|
|Baby Bob||2002 2000 - 2002||Director||n/a||4|
|Man Up!||2011 2010 - 2011||Director||n/a||4|
|Las Vegas||2007 2002 - 2007||Director||n/a||4|
|Perfect Couples||2010 2009 - 2010||Director||n/a||4|
|Nothing Upstairs||1989 1988 - 1989||Director||n/a||4|
|Whitney||2012 2010 - 2012||Director||n/a||4|
|Running Wilde||2010 2009 - 2010||Director||n/a||4|
|Instant Mom||2014 2012 - 2014||Director||n/a||4|
|Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip||2006 2005 - 2006||Director||n/a||4|
|Necessary Roughness||2012 2009 - 2012||Director||n/a||4|
|Arsenio||1996 1995 - 1996||Director||n/a||4|
|The Neighbors||2013 2011 - 2013||Director||n/a||4|
|Larry Miller: Just Words||1991 1990 - 1991||Director||n/a||4|
|So Random!||2011 2007 - 2011||Director||n/a||4|
|Love, Inc.||2005 2004 - 2005||Director||n/a||4|
|Aliens in America||2007 2006 - 2007||Director||n/a||4|
|Denis Leary: Behind the Anger||2002 2001 - 2002||Director||n/a||4|
|Worst Week||2008 2007 - 2008||Director||n/a||4|
|Toonces, the Cat Who Could Drive a Car||1991 1990 - 1991||Director||n/a||4|
|Pan Am||2011 2010 - 2011||Director||n/a||4|
|Reaper||2008 2006 - 2008||Director||n/a||4|
|The Ben Stiller Show||1995 1991 - 1995||Director||n/a||4|
|Wendell & Vinnie||Director||n/a||4|
|Psych||2013 2004 - 2013||Director||n/a||4|
|Night of Too Many Stars||2002 2001 - 2002||Director||n/a||4|
|2 Broke Girls||2014 2010 - 2014||Director||n/a||4|
|Rock Me Baby||2003 2002 - 2003||Director||n/a||4|
|Bob Nelson||1991 1990 - 1991||Director||n/a||4|
|Carol Leifer: Gaudy, Bawdy & Blue||1992 1991 - 1992||Director||n/a||4|
|Like Family||2003 2002 - 2003||Director||n/a||4|
|Family Tools||2012 2011 - 2012||Director||n/a||4|
|Memphis Beat||2010 2008 - 2010||Director||n/a||4|
|Robert Klein: It All Started Here||1995 1994 - 1995||Director||n/a||4|
|The King of Queens||2006 1997 - 2006||Director||n/a||4|
|The Second Half||1993 1992 - 1993||Director||n/a||4|
|Danny Hoch: Some People||1995 1994 - 1995||Director||n/a||4|
|Andy Richter Controls the Universe||2002 2000 - 2002||Director||n/a||4|
|The Comedy Central Roast of Denis Leary||2002 2001 - 2002||Director||n/a||4|
|Ugly Betty||2009 2005 - 2009||Director||n/a||4|
|A Night At the Roxbury||1998||Director||n/a||4|
|The Michael J. Fox Show||2013 2012 - 2013||Director||n/a||4|
|Lovelaughs||1990 1989 - 1990||Director||n/a||4|
|Greg the Bunny||2001 2000 - 2001||Director||n/a||4|
|Dirt||2007 2005 - 2007||Director||n/a||4|
|Everything's Relative||1998 1997 - 1998||Director||n/a||4|
|Underfunded||2006 2005 - 2006||Director||n/a||4|
|A.S.S.S.S.C.A.T: Improv||2005 2004 - 2005||Director||n/a||4|
|The Dana Carvey Show||1995 1994 - 1995||Director||n/a||4|
|Fred 2: Night of the Living Fred||Director||n/a||4|
|Medusa: Dare to Be Truthful||Director||n/a||4|
|Love Monkey||2005 2004 - 2005||Director||n/a||4|
|It's Like, You Know...||1999 1997 - 1999||Director||n/a||4|
|Dag||2000 1999 - 2000||Director||n/a||4|
|Go Fish||2000 1999 - 2000||Director||n/a||4|
|Comedy Central Roast: Jeff Foxworthy||2004 2003 - 2004||Segment Director||(NY Segment Crew)||1|
|Spin City||2001 1995 - 2001||Director||n/a||4|
|Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place||1998 1996 - 1998||Director||n/a||4|
|The Trouble With Larry||1993 1992 - 1993||Director||n/a||4|
|Michelob Presents Sunday Night||1988 1987 - 1988||Director||(from 1989)||4|
|House of Buggin'||1994 1993 - 1994||Director||n/a||4|
|Viva Laughlin||2007 2006 - 2007||Director||n/a||4|
|Clueless||1998 1995 - 1998||Director||n/a||4|
|One-Night Stand||1992 1987 - 1992||Director||n/a||4|
|All That 10th Anniversary Reunion Special||2004 2003 - 2004||Segment Director||Additional Material Director||1|
|A.S.S.S.S.C.A.T: Improv||2005 2004 - 2005||Executive Producer||n/a||1|
|All That||2005 1993 - 2005||Segment Producer||n/a||1|
|Denis Leary: Behind the Anger||2002 2001 - 2002||Co-Executive Producer||n/a||1|
|The Comedy Central Roast of Denis Leary||2002 2001 - 2002||Co-Executive Producer||n/a||1|
|Contest Searchlight||Co-Executive Producer||n/a||1|
|Big Shots in America||1984 1983 - 1984||Editor||n/a||1|
|Whoopi Goldberg -- Direct From Broadway||1984 1983 - 1984||Editor||n/a||1|
|High School Video Yearbook With Franken & Davis||1987 1986 - 1987||Editor||n/a||1|
|Bugs Bunny/Looney Tunes All-Star 50th Anniversary||1985 1984 - 1985||Editor||n/a||1|
|Spalding Gray: Terrors of Pleasure||1987 1986 - 1987||Editor||n/a||1|
|Graceland: The African Concert||1986 1985 - 1986||Editor||n/a||1|
|Welcome Freshmen||1993 1989 - 1993||Other||opening sequence designer||1|
|First TV credit on "Whoopi Goldberg: Direct from Broadway"|
|Edited Paul Simon's concert documentary "Graceland: The African Concert"|
|Director of critically-acclaimed but controversial sketch comedy series "The Dana Carvey Show"|
When your first job is with Lorne Michaels' production company, you definitely hit the ground running. That is exactly how director and producer John Fortenberry started, and right out of the gate he was working with comedy royalty. By the time his career was in full swing, he had collaborated on some of the edgiest and most recognizable comedy forays in television history.
Born in Jackson, Mississippi, Fortenberry graduated from the film and television department of the University of Mississippi. Immediately after graduation, he moved to New York and got a job at Lorne Michaels' Broadway Video production company. He worked as an editor for eight years before seizing a chance at producing and directing.
In 1985 Fortenberry served as editor on the TV documentary "Whoopi Goldberg: Direct from Broadway"(1986) and the Joe Mantegna and Christine Baranski TV movie "Big Shots in America" (1985). He moved on as editor on the TV movie "Looney Tunes 50th Anniversary" (1986) and began his steady rise up the ladder with a first producing credit on a "Saturday Night Live" (NBC 1975- ) video compilation he also served as editor on, "The Best of Dan Aykroyd" (1986). In 1987, he edited the film of Paul Simon's benefit concert for victims of the South African apartheid township revolts, "Graceland: The African Concert" (1987).
The following year Fortenberry was editor on the film version of the Spalding Gray monologue "Spalding Gray: Terrors of Pleasure" (1988). He was also director and supervising producer on an episode of the critically-acclaimed Canadian ensemble sketch comedy show "The Kids in the Hall" (CBC 1988-95), a project backed by Michaels. In 1992 Fortenberry rolled up his sleeves as supervising producer on 13 episodes of a short-lived sketch comedy review penned by a Who's Who of soon-to-be-huge comedy stars, "The Ben Stiller Show" (FOX 1992-93). He also directed 12 of those 13 episodes.
In 1996, Fortenberry became involved in another star-studded comedy experiment that received very solid critical notices but a tepid audience response, "The Dana Carvey Show" (ABC 1996). The show proved influential, but was too controversial for the network and only lasted seven episodes. Fortenberry then directed four episodes of the television adaptation of the hit movie "Clueless" (ABC 1996-97).
Now well positioned as a television director, Fortenberry shot three episodes of the sitcom "Just Shoot Me!" (NBC 1997-2003) and two of the largely reviled sports sitcom "Arli$$" (HBO 1996-2002). He broke into film with a Will Ferrell/Chris Kattan flop based on a "Saturday Night Live" sketch, "A Night at the Roxbury" (1998) before directing six episodes of an ensemble sitcom featuring an up-and-coming Ryan Reynolds, "Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place" (ABC 1998-2001). Also starting in 1998, the director worked on the wildly popular Ray Romano hit "Everybody Loves Raymond" (CBS 1996-2005), directing six installments over four years.
Fortenberry then shot one episode in 2000 for the hit Michael J. Fox series "Spin City" (ABC 1996-2002) and for the flop "Seinfeld" follow-up "The Michael Richards Show" (NBC 2000). He followed that with a decent run on David Alan Grier's sitcom "DAG" (NBC 2000-01), directing ten episodes. In 2002 Fortenberry directed an episode of the snarky Seth Green show "Greg the Bunny" (FOX 2002-06).
In 2002, he oversaw three episodes of the critic's favorite "Andy Richter Controls the Universe" (FOX 2002-03), a show with an extremely strong cult fan base. Between 2004 and 2006, Fortenberry directed one episode a year of another cult favorite with a fanatical base who refused to abandon the show, "Arrested Development" (FOX 2003-06).
In its first season, Fortenberry directed three episodes and was executive producer on seven episodes of one of the few cable shows to reach broadcast syndication, "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" (FX 2005- ). The following year, he directed two episodes of the Aaron Sorkin ensemble piece about backstage intrigue on a comedy show based loosely on "Saturday Night Live," "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" (NBC 2006-07) during its sole season on the air.
The following year, he worked on an episode of a juicy, short-lived cable show featuring Courteney Cox as a tabloid editor, "Dirt" (FX 2007-08) and an episode of the hugely popular ratings machine "Ugly Betty" (ABC 2006-10). In 2011, Fortenberry completed a long run directing 25 episodes over a six-year span of the award-winning Dennis Leary dramedy "Rescue Me" (FX 2004-11) That same year, Lionsgate hired Fortenberry to direct a sequel to the widely panned comedy film "Fred: The Movie" entitled "Fred 2: Night of the Living Fred" (2011).
The director eked out two episodes during the short run of the critically-praised "Pan Am" (ABC 2011-12), a period drama in the "Mad Men" mold, with Christina Ricci as a stewardess during the early 1960s. In 2013, Fortenberry completed an episode for a midseason replacement "Family Tools" (ABC 2013), which was cancelled after losing more than a million viewers in its second week.
|University of Mississippi|
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