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