John Keith McGovern Wilder

john wilder

Adjunct Instructor of English
Phone: (805) 969-9931
Office Location: Reynolds Hall 103

Office Hours
Fall 2014
Fridays: 2:00 - 3:00 PM
and by appointment

Screenwriting, producing, directing



  • B.A., English Literature, UCLA, 1963


  • Honorable Discharge US Air Force Reserve 1963; Rank of Staff Sergeant
  • Presidential Distinguished Unit Citation and Good Conduct Medal


  • Screenwriter, producer, director. since 1965
  • Adjunct Professor of English and Writer in Residence at Westmont College since 2001


  • Writers Guild of America; Directors Guild of America; Dramatists Guild of America
  • American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers
  • Academy of Television Arts and Sciences
  • Screen Actors Guild (inactive)
  • American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (inactive)
  • Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters.


  • Writers Guild of America - Best Long-Form Drama
  • Western Writers of America - Best Television Film
  • Western Heritage Award - Best Television Film (2)
  • Chicago International Film Festival - Best Television Series
  • Writers Guild of America Nominee - Best Dramatic Episode
    Writers Guild of America Nominee - Best Long-Form Series
  • TV Academy Emmy Nominee - Best Dramatic Series (2)
  • Golden Globe Nominee - Best Picture Made For Television
  • Golden Globe Nominee - Best Drama Series.


  • Mr. Wilder has written and/or produced nearly 400 hours of prime-time television drama on network and cable and been commissioned by Columbia, Warners, Tristar, Orion, 20th Century Fox, and Universal Pictures to theatrical features.
  • He won the Writers Guild Award and the Western Heritage Award for his adaptation of James A. Michener's Centennial, the twenty-six hour miniseries he Executive Produced for NBC. He received the Western Writers of America Award and his second Western Heritage Award for the seven-hour miniseries, Return To Lonesome Dove, the sequel to Larry McMurtry's Pulitzer Prize winning story, which he wrote and Executive Produced for CBS.
  • He created, wrote and Executive Produced the critically acclaimed NBC series The Yellow Rose (starring Sam Elliott and Cybill Shepherd), developed, Executive Produced, wrote and directed the top-rated ABC series Spenser: For Hire (starring Robert Urich and Avery Brooks), and wrote, produced and directed the number-one rated, Emmy-nominated ABC series The Streets of San Francisco (starring Karl Malden and Michael Douglas).
  • He Executive Produced his mini-series adaptations of James Michener's Texas for ABC and John Jakes' The Bastard for the ground-breaking Operation Prime Time network, and was Writer-Director-Executive Producer of Norman Rockwell's Breaking Home Ties, an original drama for ABC starring Academy Award winners Jason Robards, Eva Marie Saint and Claire Trevor. He adapted and
    Executive Produced the four-hour mini-series of Anne Rice's The Feast of All Saints for Showtime. He created and Executive Produced the NBC series The Devlin Connection starring Rock Hudson; co-created the NBC series Bracken's World; developed and produced the NBC anthology series Tales of The Unexpected; and produced the pilot for the ABC series Most Wanted starring Robert Stack.
  • He recently completed a ten-hour teleplay for Warner Brothers and NBC based on Anne Rice's The Witching Hour, and two feature screenplays for Universal Studios: The Ninth Ward, based on the heroic actions of a New Orleans Police officer during Hurricane Katrina; Hearts of Fire, an adaptation of the novel The Smoke Jumper by Best-Selling author Nicholas Evans.
  • He is currently developing an original Television drama for Hallmark Entertainment, a theatrical film dramatizing the life of legendary Coach John Wooden and a stage play based on the life of Cesar Chavez.
  • Mr. Wilder taught an Advanced Workshop for Screenwriting at UCLA in 1984. In 2001, he established the three-semester (12 unit) Screenwriting Program in the English Department at Westmont College, where he currently serves as Adjunct Professor of English and Writer in Residence.
  • Prior to his career as a filmmaker, Mr. Wilder worked as an actor with starring and featured roles in theatrical and television films, on live television (in the 1950's), in local theater, and (as a juvenile in the 1940's) on radio.
  • Following his graduation from UCLA, Mr. Wilder worked for one year as a Social Case Worker for the Los Angeles County Bureau of Public Assistance.

Other Honor

  • While attending John Burroughs High School in Burbank, he earned letters in
    football, track and basketball, won individual honors in the Foothill League Finals track
    meet running middle-distance, and was named to the city summer league all-star
    team as a shortstop in baseball, playing on four consecutive league championship
    teams and three championship softball teams.

Church affiliation

  • Mr. and Mrs. Wilder presently attend El Montecito Presbyterian Church