As the head of Hollywood super-producer Jerry Bruckheimer's TV department, known as Bruckheimer Television, Jonathan Littman executive produced and developed some of the most widely watched shows of the 2000s. At one point during the decade, Littman served as executive producer on a record-breaking 10 shows on television, most notably the procedural dramas "Without A Trace" (CBS 2002-09) and "Cold Case" (CBS 2003-2010), as well as the Dylan McDermott-starring crime series, "Dark Blue" (TNT 2009-10). Littman's biggest hits just happen to be two of the most successful shows in the history of television - "CSI" (CBS 2000- ) and "The Amazing Race" (CBS 2001- ) - both of which have spawned equally as successful franchises and spin-off series. A somewhat shy figure that shunned interviews and enjoyed working behind the camera, Jonathan Littman was not your typical cigar-chomping egomaniac producer. Yet over the course of two decades, he proved time and time again that ego is no recipe to success in Hollywood, you just need to work hard and have great material. Luckily for Littman, he was blessed with both.
A native of New Jersey, Littman attended Vassar College where he studied drama. He always knew he wanted to have a career in entertainment, but felt more akin to the day-to-day activities of the business end of the entertainment business. Equipped with that knowledge, Littman moved to New York City after graduation where he embarked on a career on Broadway. Although he quickly made strides working as both a casting director and stage manager, Littman eventually grew tired of the theater. Television was his first love, after all, which ultimately compelled him to take a job as segment producer for a late night New York-based news program called "Day's End." The position was a temporarily fix to his long desire to work in TV, but eventually Littman grew restless and bored. Then in 1989 he had the opportunity of a lifetime to work in daytime television for NBC. However, the position required Littman to relocate to California. After quickly weighing his options Littman realized that New York was no longer for him. And with that he packed his bags and moved to sunny Los Angeles. The year was 1989.
While working for NBC, Littman oversaw the network's game shows and daytime programming. He spent two years at the network, before taking a position in the drama department at the newly-launched Fox network. It was there that Littman started to gain a firm grasp of what shows audiences wanted to watch and what shows made them turn the channel. Over the next six years he developed some of the network's most successful new shows, including the primetime soaps, "Beverly Hills, 90210" (1990-2000) and "Melrose Place" (1992-99), as well as the cult science-fiction series "The X-Files" (1993-2002). Littman did such a successful job in turning the once fledgling network into a major network player that the legendary movie producer Jerry Bruckheimer, whose laundry list of hits included "Beverly Hills Cop" (1984), "Top Gun" (1986), and "The Rock" (1996), stole him away to run the newly launched television department of his production company. After joining Bruckheimer Television in 1997, one of the first shows Littman pitched his boss was a Las Vegas-set crime series called "CSI." Bruckheimer loved the idea, and by 2010, "CSI" had spawned two successful spin-off series, "CSI: Miami" (CBS 2002-2012) and "CSI: New York" (CBS 2004-13), while managing to become one of the most successful primetime shows in the history of network television. Other shows Littman developed and executive produced during the 2000s included "Without a Trace," "Miami Medical" (CBS 2010), and "Cold Case." In addition to "CSI," Littman also developed CBS's immensely popular reality series, "The Amazing Race." That show, which aired its very first episode in 2001, began its record-breaking 23rd season in September of 2013. In addition to having developed the show for TV, Littman also served as its executive producer.
Became head of Bruckheimer Television
Executive Producer of "CSI"
Developed and executive prodcued "The Amazing Race"
Producer on "Without a Trace"
Executive Producer of "CSI: Miami"
Executive Producer of "CSI: New York"