Jerry McNeely established himself as one of television’s top writers while he was still serving as a professor of theatre at the University of Wisconsin. After leaving the faculty and moving to California in 1975, he added producing and directing to his list of activities. A native of Cape Girardeau, he attended Westminster College, received his B.A. from Southeast Missouri State University, and his Masters and Doctoral degrees form the University of Wisconsin. He is married to Ellen Shenker, a publicist for CBS Television, and they are the parents of a son, Ian, born in 1986. He is also the father of three adult children: Melissa, a computer software executive in Los Angeles; Joel, a television and film composer with over 60 network credits; and Betsy Scafati, who heads her own computer/animation firm in Brookfield, Wisconsin.