Daniel Knauf

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Daniel Knauf at Tara Cardinal's Japan Relief Celebrity Event in 2011 Daniel Knauf at Tara Cardinal's Japan Relief Celebrity Event.jpg
Daniel Knauf at Tara Cardinal's Japan Relief Celebrity Event in 2011

Daniel Knauf, sometimes credited under the pseudonyms Wilfred Schmidt and Chris Neal, is an American television writer and producer, as well as comic book writer, best known for his creation of the 2003 HBO series Carnivàle .

A television producer is a person who oversees all aspects of video production on a television program. Some producers take more of an executive role, in that they conceive new programs and pitch them to the television networks, but upon acceptance they focus on business matters, such as budgets and contracts. Other producers are more involved with the day-to-day workings, participating in activities such as screenwriting, set design, casting and directing.

Comic book publication of comics art

A comic book or comicbook, also called comic magazine or simply comic, is a publication that consists of comic art in the form of sequential juxtaposed panels that represent individual scenes. Panels are often accompanied by brief descriptive prose and written narrative, usually, dialog contained in word balloons emblematic of the comics art form. Although comics has some origins in 18th century Japan, comic books were first popularized in the United States and the United Kingdom during the 1930s. The first modern comic book, Famous Funnies, was released in the U.S. in 1933 and was a reprinting of earlier newspaper humor comic strips, which had established many of the story-telling devices used in comics. The term comic book derives from American comic books once being a compilation of comic strips of a humorous tone; however, this practice was replaced by featuring stories of all genres, usually not humorous in tone.

HBO American pay television network

HBO is an American premium cable and satellite television network owned by the namesake unit Home Box Office, Inc.,, a division of AT&T's WarnerMedia. The program which featured on the network consists primarily of theatrically released motion pictures and original television shows, along with made-for-cable movies, documentaries and occasional comedy and concert specials.



Born and raised in Los Angeles, Knauf attended several colleges in South California studying fine art, and later graduated from the California State University, Los Angeles with a bachelor's degree in English in 1982. [1] He began work as an employee benefits consultant and later a health insurance broker, writing once he was able to support himself and his family financially. [2] [1] Hoping to become a screenwriter, Knauf's first draft of Carnivàle , written in 1992, [3] was 180 pages long and twice the length of the average feature film. [4] Convinced the screenplay could not work as either a standard television series or a film, he put it aside, planning to one day adapt it into a novel. [3] Carnivàle evolved as a result of Knauf's childhood fascination with carnivals and his interest in "freaks", due in part to the childhood polio that confined his father to a wheelchair, which Knauf felt his father was defined by. [3] [2] After meeting with a number of television writers at a Writers Guild of America retreat in the mid-90s, he started to think that his screenplay might work as a television piece. He took the first act and reworked it as a television pilot, but shelved the script again when he could not get the project produced. [2]

Los Angeles City in California

Los Angeles, officially the City of Los Angeles and often known by its initials L.A., is the most populous city in California, the second most populous city in the United States, after New York City, and the third most populous city in North America. With an estimated population of four million, Los Angeles is the cultural, financial, and commercial center of Southern California. The city is known for its Mediterranean climate, ethnic diversity, Hollywood and the entertainment industry, and its sprawling metropolis. Los Angeles is the largest city on the West Coast of North America.

Fine art art developed primarily for aesthetics

In European academic traditions, fine art is art developed primarily for aesthetics or beauty, distinguishing it from applied art, which also has to serve some practical function, such as pottery or most metalwork.

California State University, Los Angeles university

California State University, Los Angeles is a public university in Los Angeles, California. It is part of the California State University (CSU) system. Cal State LA offers 129 bachelor's degrees, 112 master's degrees, and three doctoral degrees: a Ph.D. in special education, Doctor of Education (Ed.D), Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). It also offers 22 teaching credentials. Cal State LA is a Hispanic-serving institution.

Knauf went on to write the 1994 HBO-produced television movie Blind Justice , [5] and, during a low-point in his screenwriting career, created his own website, posting his resume and Carnivàle's first act online. [2] He created the 2001 television pilot Honey Vicarro and was a writer and consulting producer for the television series Wolf Lake . He was also writer and director on the 2002 film Dark Descent (his sole directing credit) [1] before a television production scout brought Carnivàle to television producers Scott Winant and Howard Klein, who brought it to HBO where the series ended up being produced, [5] twelve years after Knauf had first drafted the script. [2]

<i>Blind Justice</i> (1994 film) 1994 film by Richard Spence

Blind Justice is a 1994 American television film on HBO directed by Richard Spence. It features Armand Assante, Robert Davi, Elisabeth Shue, Adam Baldwin, and Jack Black. First Nations actor Jimmy Herman appears as a shaman. It was shot entirely in Arizona.

A television pilot is a standalone episode of a television series that is used to sell the show to a television network. At the time of its creation, the pilot is meant to be the testing ground to gauge whether a series will be successful; it is therefore a test episode for the intended television series, an early step in the series development, much like pilot studies serve as precursors to the start of larger activity. In the case of a successful television series, the pilot is commonly the very first episode that is aired of the particular series under its own name; the episode that gets the series "off the ground". A "back door pilot" is an episode of an existing successful series, featuring future tie-in characters of an up-and-coming television series or film. Its purpose is to introduce the characters to an audience before the creators decide on whether or not they intend to pursue a spin-off series with those characters.

<i>Wolf Lake</i> 2002 American television series

Wolf Lake is an American horror television series that originally aired on CBS in September–October 2001. Nine episodes were produced, but only five aired before the series was canceled by CBS. The full series, including the four unaired episodes, was later picked up and broadcast on UPN in April–May 2002. Wolf Lake depicts a pack of werewolves living in a Seattle suburb.

Since Carnivàle was cancelled in 2005, Knauf has moved on to write for television series Supernatural and Standoff , also serving as a co-executive producer on Standoff. He worked as a writer for the Christian Slater drama My Own Worst Enemy in 2008.

Supernatural is an American dark fantasy television series created by Eric Kripke. It was first broadcast on September 13, 2005, on The WB, and subsequently became part of successor The CW's lineup. Starring Jared Padalecki as Sam Winchester and Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester, the series follows the two brothers as they hunt demons, ghosts, monsters, and other supernatural beings. The series is produced by Warner Bros. Television, in association with Wonderland Sound and Vision. Along with Kripke, executive producers have been McG, Robert Singer, Phil Sgriccia, Sera Gamble, Jeremy Carver, John Shiban, Ben Edlund and Adam Glass. Former executive producer and director Kim Manners died of lung cancer during production of the fourth season.

<i>Standoff</i> (TV series) television series

Standoff is an American drama series that premiered on the Fox network on September 5, 2006. Created by Craig Silverstein, the series focused on an FBI Crisis Negotiation Unit whose members negotiated hostage situations and shared relationships. The show was produced by Sesfonstein Productions and 20th Century Fox Television and its executive producers were Craig Silverstein, Tim Story, and Glen Mazzara. A total of 18 episodes were produced and the series completed its original run on July 20, 2007.

Christian Slater American actor

Christian Michael Leonard Slater is an American actor, voice actor, and producer. He made his film debut with a leading role in The Legend of Billie Jean (1985) and gained wider recognition for his breakthrough role as Jason “J.D.” Dean, a sociopathic high school student, in the satire Heathers (1988). He has received critical acclaim for his title-role in the USA Network television series Mr. Robot (2015–present), for which he earned the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film in 2016, with additional nominations in 2017 and 2018.

He and his son Charles Knauf have written issues 7–18 and 21–28 of Iron Man for Marvel Comics, [6] as well as volume #2 of The Eternals since its 2006 revival after over thirty years. [7] [8] He will also write a Captain America Theater of War: Zero-Point story set during World War II, and has submitted a draft to Sci Fi Channel for an adaptation of The Phantom .

Iron Man superhero appearing in Marvel Comics publications and related media

Iron Man(Anthony Edward "Tony" Stark) is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character was co-created by writer and editor Stan Lee, developed by scripter Larry Lieber, and designed by artists Don Heck and Jack Kirby. The character made his first appearance in Tales of Suspense #39, and received his own title in Iron Man #1.

Marvel Comics company that publishes comic books and related media

Marvel Comics is the brand name and primary imprint of Marvel Worldwide Inc., formerly Marvel Publishing, Inc. and Marvel Comics Group, a publisher of American comic books and related media. In 2009, The Walt Disney Company acquired Marvel Entertainment, Marvel Worldwide's parent company.

Eternals (comics) group of fictional characters

The Eternals are a fictional species of humanity appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. They are described as an offshoot of the evolutionary process that created sentient life on Earth. The original instigators of this process, the alien Celestials, intended the Eternals to be the defenders of Earth, which leads to the inevitability of war against their destructive counterparts, the Deviants. The Eternals were created by Jack Kirby and made their first appearance in The Eternals #1.

He was a consulting producer for the latter part of the first season of historical action drama Spartacus: Blood and Sand . Knauf wrote two episodes for the first season. Knauf co-wrote with Andrea Berloff and Caleb Pinkett the script for a mystery thriller, The Legend of Cain, [9] but it has not been produced.

<i>Spartacus: Blood and Sand</i> first season of Spartacus

Spartacus: Blood and Sand is the first season of American television series Spartacus, which premiered on Starz on January 22, 2010. The series was inspired by the historical figure of Spartacus, a Thracian gladiator who from 73 to 71 BC led a major slave uprising against the Roman Republic. Executive producers Steven S. DeKnight and Robert Tapert focused on structuring the events of Spartacus' obscure early life leading up to the beginning of historical records.

Knauf was the writer and showrunner of the short-lived NBC series Dracula , before joining the staff of The Blacklist with the beginning of season two.


Daniel Knauf in 2016 Danknaufimage1.jpg
Daniel Knauf in 2016


2012Bxx: HauntedWriter & Executive Producer
2002 Dark Descent Writer & Directoras Wilfred Schmidt


2014–2017 The Blacklist Writer & Co-Executive/Executive Producer59 episodes
2013–2014 Dracula Writer & Executive Producer
2010 Spartacus: Blood and Sand Writer & Consulting Producer6 episodes
2009The PhantomWriter2 episodes
2008 My Own Worst Enemy Writer & Co-Executive Producer6 episodes
Fear Itself WriterFamily Man (#1.3)
2006–2007 Standoff Writer, Consulting Producer & Co-Executive Producer11 episodes
2006 Supernatural WriterSomething Wicked (#1.18)
2003–2005 Carnivàle Creator, Writer & Executive Producer24 episodes
2001–2002 Wolf Lake Writer & Consulting Producer7 episodes
2001Honey VicarroWriter & Executive ProducerTV Movie
1994Blind JusticeWriter

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<i>Carnivàle</i> 2003–2005 American television series

Carnivàle is an American television series set in the United States Dust Bowl during the Great Depression of the 1930s. The series, created by Daniel Knauf, ran for two seasons between 2003 and 2005. In tracing the lives of disparate groups of people in a traveling carnival, Knauf's story combined a bleak atmosphere with elements of the surreal in portraying struggles between good and evil and between free will and destiny. The show's mythology drew upon themes and motifs from traditional Christianity and gnosticism together with Masonic lore, particularly that of the Knights Templar order.

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Characters of <i>Carnivàle</i> Wikimedia list article

There are several main characters in Carnivàle, an American television serial drama set in the United States Depression-era Dust Bowl between 1934 and 1935 based on the true life of Sheila DeLeon. It aired on HBO between 2003 and 2005. The show traces the disparate storylines of an ensemble of fictional characters revolving around two main characters: young Ben Hawkins working in a traveling carnival, and a California preacher named Brother Justin Crowe.

Mythology of <i>Carnivàle</i> television series

Carnivàle is an American television series set in the United States during the Great Depression. The series traces the disparate storylines of a young carnival worker named Ben Hawkins and Brother Justin Crowe, a preacher in California. The overarching story is built around a good and evil theme, which serves as a human-scaled metaphor within a complex structure of myth and allegory. Samson, the carnival's dwarf manager, sets up the show's mythology with a prologue in the pilot episode, talking of "a creature of light and a creature of darkness" being born "to each generation" preparing for a final battle.

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  1. 1 2 3 "Daniel Knauf: Creator/Executive Producer". HBO . Retrieved 2008-05-02.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Tuohy, Wendy (December 16, 2004). "Freaking hell". The Age . Retrieved 2008-05-02.
  3. 1 2 3 ""The Making of a Magnificent Delusion": Daniel Knauf". HBO . Retrieved 2008-05-02.
  4. Baird, Jonathan David. "The Enquiring Hitchhiker Interviews Daniel Knauf Creator of the TV Series Carnivale". The Freehold. Retrieved 5 September 2013.
  5. 1 2 Frankel, Daniel (June 16, 2004). "Carnivale: Where mysticism's often meted out in meticulously slow fashion". Variety . Retrieved 2008-05-02.
  6. Weiland, Jonah (September 27, 2005). ""Carnivale" Creator Daniel Knauf to Write "Iron Man"". Comic Book Resources . Retrieved 2008-05-02.
  7. Minnick, Remy (July 27, 2007). "CCI: Charles & Daniel Knauf: Waking Up from An Eternal Slumber". Comic Book Resources . Retrieved 2008-05-02.
  8. Eternal Glory of the King: Knaufs talk “Eternals”, Comic Book Resources, June 11, 2008
  9. Will Smith Puts the Bite On in The Legend of Cain
Preceded by
Warren Ellis
Iron Man writer
(with Charles Knauf)
Succeeded by
Matt Fraction