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neil levin [Sep. 1st, 2008|10:41 am]
[Current Music |basil poledouris - "klendathu drop"]

those watching tonight’s episode will notice the final dedication to neil levin.

i first met neil in 1997, when we both worked on the WB’s short-lived, and not-entirely-lamented spy-fi series “three.” neil and i became fast friends, bonding over the crapitude of joel schumacher’s “batman and robin,” spending much time discussing the changes made to the reissues of the “star wars” saga, savagely arguing the merits of paul verhoeven’s “starship troopers” and playing a lot of “you don’t know jack.”

over the years, neil - or “tv’s neil levin” as he liked to call himself - served as script coordinator on many fantastic shows: “the 4400,” “firefly,” “rome,” and “tru calling” among many others...he was known by everyone with whom he worked as a gentleman and a true geek...

(how true a geek? neil's 1997 christmas card consisted of a vhs of the then-nigh-impossible-to-find "star wars christmas special," that's how neil h. levin rolled)

...so it only made sense that neil would ultimately come to work with us at “the middleman,” where the entire staff would savagely argue the merits of christopher nolan’s “batman begins,” spend much time bonding over the “star wars” prequel trilogy, and play a lot of scrabulous on facebook.

(not to mention that neil was there - literally in my office - on the day i came up with the idea for "the middleman - if anything, it was fate)

neil handled his stressful job - working on scripts with a bunch of neurotic writers and accommodating the needs of the anxiety factory that is production - with a perpetual easy-going smile...he had seen it all and was rarely fazed, and i would be remiss if i didn’t mention his quick and snarky wit (the true hallmark of the modern media nerd).

neil was family: he helped make the middleman writers bullpen into a home away from home, and we loved him for it.

some two months ago, neil was hospitalized with a concussion following a fall. during his convalescence, he suffered a massive hemorrhage and fell into a coma. he passed shortly thereafter - in peace and without pain, surrounded by loved ones and the well-wishes of his many friends.

it only makes sense, then, that this season of our unabashedly optimistic, and shamelessly geeky show be dedicated to neil levin. he epitomized the friendly, collaborative and nurturing workplace for which we all aimed; he is sorely missed...

...even though we could never agree on "starship troopers."

neil's portrait with mr. fusion

neil's cameo appearance in our second episode

the quintessential neil levin

[User Picture]From: taraljc
2008-09-01 06:02 pm (UTC)
This is an excellent tribute, and I'm so sorry for your loss. he sounds like a guy i'd have loved to have met and geeked with.

p.s. "Three" was awesome, and I lamented its passing.
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From: axisor
2008-09-02 03:13 am (UTC)
I'm glad there's an article someone where explaining the dedication and I'm glad to love such a fantastic show with fantastic dedicated people.

I do hope when this goes to DVD, that there is some small tribute to "neil h. levin" so everyone will understand.

PS- I lamented the passing of Three too... it had potential, at least what i remember of it--but i'd rather have Middleman, if i had to chose
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[User Picture]From: kat_rowe
2008-09-01 06:10 pm (UTC)
What a beautiful dedication. Thank you for sharing something of Neil with us all. I can't think of a better person to dedicate such a truly unique and quirky show to
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From: (Anonymous)
2008-09-01 06:12 pm (UTC)

A great tribute.

I believe that Mr. Levin would be very happy with the way he is being remembered; on one of the shows that he was part of. I didn't know him, although I knew of him, but I wish I had. He sounds like a great person to hang out with and share the knowledge of the geek world that we live in with.

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[User Picture]From: middlegirl
2008-09-01 06:29 pm (UTC)
Of course, I never knew him, but anybody who loved "You Don't Know Jack" had to be somebody cool. Thank you for taking the time to share.

(And I actually liked "Batman and Robin," but we'll save that discussion for another time.)
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[User Picture]From: overthemoo
2008-09-01 06:50 pm (UTC)
That was lovely - so sorry for your loss. Seems like a guy I should have been familiar with considering the shows he worked on. Though, I suppose I was familiar with him and I just didn't know it. Anyway, I appreciate you sharing a little bit of his life with us.

And wow, completely forgot about "You Don't Know Jack"! I use to play that 24/7. Good times. :)
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[User Picture]From: tidmore
2008-09-02 05:14 am (UTC)
My thoughts and prayers are with you and all of Neil's family and friends. I'm sorry for you loss and I was deeply moved by your dedication.
God Bless.
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[User Picture]From: andrewhime
2008-09-02 07:06 am (UTC)
Cool, I was left wondering, and Google got me the guy who ran the Port Authority.
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[User Picture]From: lilacsigil
2008-09-02 11:23 am (UTC)
He sounds like an awesome guy and his name is *that* close to a palindrome.
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From: (Anonymous)
2008-09-02 01:00 pm (UTC)


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From: (Anonymous)
2008-09-02 01:49 pm (UTC)
My sympathies for your loss.
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From: (Anonymous)
2008-09-03 05:11 am (UTC)

I saw the dedication and...

I saw the dedication and wondered if he was the same Neil Levin who was script coordinator on *Firefly*, googled it, and here I am. Thanks for writing this page to let us know about one of the behind-the-scenes guys who get little credit but make the shows we love possible. I recognized his name because as a fan of Joss Whedon's creations [*Buffy*, *Firefly*, etc.] I swooned when a couple years back I saw for sale a handwritten-by-Joss partial first draft script of *Firefly* episode "Our Mrs. Reynolds". It was being sold by Neil and had been one of his personal mementos from his time with the show. He was nice enough to answer my questions about his job, the show, and he seemed like a nice guy. Thanks for telling us about him, and thanks for the pictures. I still have the script I got from Neil, and I'll add his picture and a caption about him to its display--because without the Neil Levins of TV, the Joss Whedons of TV couldn't give us the live-action-literature we love. The Neil Levins of the industry deserve all the thanks we can give them.
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[User Picture]From: djaliplume
2008-09-03 06:17 pm (UTC)
May he live on in a million parallel universes.
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From: (Anonymous)
2008-09-10 03:22 am (UTC)


Thank you for a nice tribute to an amazing guy. It's nice to know he was part of a TV Family that loved him as much as we all did in the "real" world.

Sometimes, I google him or go to his facebook page and just "look" for him. It was nice to find him here. TV's Neil Levin taught me everything I know about TV. Knowledge, I am sure he shared with a lot of people along the way since he was alway so helpful. Now he has taught all of us that life is too short not to tell the people you love that you love them. Or to tell people that you don't care for that you don't care for them. Live Long and Prosper in whatever parallel universe you are in. And get ready, next time we all pass through this world -- we are taking Hollywood by Storm(troopers).

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