John Wells has hardly slowed down since marathon negotiations for the Writers Guild of America ended 11 days ago in a tentative deal.
“I’m no longer at the guild at 2 a.m., and I’m back to business hours, but I’m still pretty tired,” said Wells, noting that his wife gave birth to their second child one day before negotiations concluded. “You really forget about how little sleep you get with a new child.”
Wells, as WGA West prexy, had been front-and-center as spokesman for the guild’s yearlong contract campaign in addition to his duties as showrunner for “ER,” “The West Wing” and “Third Watch.” With that trio of shows on hiatus, he is involved with a pair of features in production — Gaylord Films/Warner’s “White Oleander” and “Double Down,” directed by Neil Jordan — and is developing several other features.
The 44-year-old Wells will be adding more to his plate now that CBS has given “Citizen Baines” the greenlight for the coming season. Wells is exec producing with Lydia Woodward on the project, which revolves around a U.S. senator who loses his bid for re-election, then moves back home to Seattle. He’s also working on a pilot for TNT.
“The guild is volunteer work, so I have to get back to doing things where I’m getting paid,” Wells joked.