Having created one of the grittiest police shows in television history, writer and executive producer Shawn Ryan broke new ground with "The Shield" (FX, 2002-08), thanks to centering the show on corrupt cop antihero Vic Mackey. Inspired by real events surrounding the Rampart division of the LAPD, "The Shield" opened a window into the harsh world of gangs, drug dealers and corrupt police officers in realistic and often stomach-churning fashion. Prior to creating the show, Ryan was a writer and producer on both "Nash Bridges" (CBS, 1996-2001) and "Angel" (The WB, 1999-2004) - hardly proving ground for the bitter reality of "The Shield." By creating the first high-rated show on the small cable station, FX, Ryan was given more creative leeway as the executive producer and showrunner on more widely seen network shows like "The Unit" (CBS, 2006-09), which was created by playwright David Mamet, and the procedural drama "Lie To Me" (Fox, 2009- ). He returned to the cable channel to oversee "Terriers" (FX, 2010) before creating his first show since "The Shield," another hard-edged cop drama about cops and politicians called "The Chicago Code" (Fox, 2011- ), all of which made Ryan one of the most highly-sought executive producers on the small screen.