An award-winning executive producer, writer and director best known for creating Resurrection Blvd., the first and longest-running Latino dramatic series in the history of U.S. American television, he continues to develop and produce television pilots, series, film scripts and web series, both drama and comedy, for the major networks, studios and the internet.
Dennis E. Leoni – Biography
Dennis Leoni joins #TIGHT5 as the Presiding Judge in our jury for our Screenwriting competitions. In his stellar career he has mentored, inspired and motivated many writers, filmmakers and show runners to pursue their craft with excellence. We welcome Dennis to the TIGHT5 Family.
President and CEO of Patagonia House, the production company responsible for the development, production and delivery of the above mentioned programs.
In addition to his career in the entertainment business, he is a professor, lecturer and mentor. He has traveled the world as an advocate for the Latino community and has conducted seminars on screenwriting, producing, directing and diversity in the media for numerous civic, private and professional organizations including the Directors’ Guild of America, the Writers Guild of America, the Paley Center for Media, the National Association of Latino Independent Producers, the National Association of Television Producers and Executives, the National Association of Multi-Ethnicity in Communications, and educational institutions such as UCLA, USC, Emerson, California State University Northridge, California State University Los Angeles, Occidental College, the University of Arizona, high schools, middle and elementary schools.
As a board member and trustee, he has supported the education of young people in the arts by serving on the board of The Latino Theater Company and the Los Angeles Theater Center, which are dedicated to bringing multicultural theater to all ethnicities and cultures and teaching theater arts to those who would otherwise not have the opportunity. He has also served on the board of directors of The Wall/Las Memorias, an organization committed to educating and creating awareness about HIV/AIDS and was also a founding trustee for the National Association of Latino Independent Producers.
Served as a special advisor to the PBS documentary series P.O.V. and the National Hispanic Media Coalition, counseling in matters concerning the media and the entertainment industry.
Born in Tucson, Arizona, he studied at the University of Arizona before becoming the head of the acting and stunt department at Old Tucson Studios. Moving to Hawaii, he transitioned from in front of the camera to behind it. After writing his first screenplay, he moved to Southern California. He is married to his high school sweetheart Deborah and they have two children, Sierra and Selena.
“Legacy” – Drama Pilot Script (2018) – CW/CBS Productions/The Leoni Company
“Alta California” – Drama Pilot Script (2015) – PBS/Patagonia House
“Los Americans” – Web Series (2011) – One Economy/V Studios/Townsend Entertainment
“One Love” – Comedy Pilot Script (2008) – Touchstone Television/Patagonia House
“Mission Control” – Comedy Pilot Script (2007) – Fox Television Studios/Oxygen Network
“Runners” – Drama Pilot Script (2006) – Showtime Networks/Mirador Entertainment
“Untombed” – Movie Script (2005) – Showtime Networks/Patagonia House
“Angel of Mercy” – Drama Pilot Script (2004) – NBC Television Network/Patagonia House
“Black and White” – Drama Pilot Script (2004) – Showtime Networks/Patagonia House “Two
“Badges: The Mona Ruiz Story” – Television Movie Script (2003) – Lifetime Network
“The Guard” – Television Movie Script (2003) – Showtime Networks/Patagonia House
“Almost a Woman” (Uncredited) – Movie (2002) – PBS Masterpiece Theatre/ALT Films
“Resurrection Blvd.” – Drama Series (2000-2002) – Showtime Networks/Patagonia House
“McKenna” – Drama Series (1994) – Co-Producer – ABC Television Network/Grant Vision
“The Commish” – Drama Series (1994) – ABC Television Network
“Covington Cross” – Drama Series (1992) ABC Television Network/Reeves Entertainment
“Raven” – Drama Series (1992) – CBS Television Network/Columbia Pictures Television
“Hull Street High” – Comedy Series (1991) – NBC Television Network/Grant Vision
“Mystagogue” Six Half-Hour Limited Series Pilot Script (1990) – HBO/Cinemax
“The Collingwood Massacre,” Feature Film Script (1990) – American-National
“The Haunted White House” Feature Film Treatment (1990) – Columbia Pictures
Directed multiple episodes of Los Americans and multiple episodes of Resurrection Blvd, and has also taught directing at California State University Northridge.
Awards and Honors
Norman Lear Writer’s Award – The Imagen Foundation
Inaugural Legacy Award – National Association of Minorities in Cable Inaugural Digital
Media Pioneer for Social Justice Award – Minority Media Telecom Council
Professional Achievement Award – University of Arizona/School of Media Arts
Multiple ALMA Awards and Nominations – National Council for La Raza
Multiple GLAAD Awards – Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation
Multiple Imagen Awards – The Imagen Foundation
Multiple Golden Eagle Awards – Nosotros
Multiple Prism Award Commendations
Vision Award – Latin Entertainment in the Media Industry
Impact Award – National Hispanic Media Coalition
Honored with California State Senate Resolution
Honored with California State Assembly Resolution
Multiple Honors – The United States Congress
Multiple Honors – Governors, Mayors, City Councils, Civic and Private Organizations