Jason Ensler

Jason Ensler is an American film director, television director, producer, and screenwriter.

Jason Ensler
Born (1970-07-21) July 21, 1970
OccupationFilm director, television director and television producer
Years active2001–present

Early life

Jason Ensler attended Brandeis University where he earned a BA in Politics and Theater.2 He graduated USC School of Cinematic Arts with an MFA in Cinema/Television production.  

Career

Ensler began his work in television as part of the creative team at NBC 2000, a division of NBC promo. He designed launch campaigns for The West Wing, Scrubs, Frasier, Third Watch, The Olympics, and The NBA.  He produced and edited the Upfront presentation for NBC's 75th Anniversary, and wrote and directed The Zucker Follies, a musical mockumentary starring Megan Mullally, Sean Hayes, Martin Sheen, and many others.3

In 2002, Ensler directed Behind The Camera: The Unauthorized Story of Three's Company for NBC, which documents the true story of ambition, greed, and betrayal that rocked the set of the hit show Three's Company. He directed Martha, Inc.: The Story of Martha Stewart starring Cybill Shepherd and Tim Matheson, which chronicled Martha Stewart's rise to fame, subsequent incarceration for insider trading, and eventual comeback. Both films were critically acclaimed when they aired in May 2003, and became the highest rated TV movies of the decade.5

He began his career in episodic television with episodes of Scrubs and The West Wing before directing the feature film Grilled for New Line Cinema.6 Written by William Tepper, and starring Ray Romano, Kevin James, Burt Reynolds, Juliette Lewis, SophiaVergara, Kim Coates, and Michael Rapaport, Ensler created a darkly comedic character study which showcases Kevin James and Ray Romano in unexpected performances.   It received mixed reviews, but has since gained a loyal fan base with its release on VOD.7

Ensler was asked by Jonathan Groff and Conan O'Brien to direct and produce the pilot and series of Andy Barker, P.I. starring Andy Richter and Tony Hale.   It was listed on Entertainment Weekly's top 10 shows of 2006.  A more comprehensive oral history8 of the show was published by Uproxx in 2015. Ensler has since directed and executive produced the pilots for: The Eastmans, Franklin & Bash, Hart of Dixie, Cult, The Curse of The Fuentes Women (2015), and Transylvania (2016).

He most recently directed the pilot for The Passage and served as executive producer and series director on Season Two of Fox’s The Exorcist. He also directed the critically acclaimed exorcism episode in season one, “Through My Most Grievous Fault”14 in addition to both Season Finales.

He has also directed episodes of Lethal Weapon, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Goldbergs, Sirens, Hostages, Grace and Frankie, Red Band Society and The Newsroom.

Jason Ensler
Born (1970-07-21) July 21, 1970
OccupationFilm/television director and television producer
Years active2001–present

Documentaries

Ensler is on the executive board of Shifting Baselines, a think tank and production entity founded and run by author and filmmaker Randy Olson, that seeks to find more effective ways of communicating science to the public. He produced, directed and edited IRIS, a documentary for Children's Hospital Los Angeles, about Retinoblastoma, a rare form of children’s eye cancer, which was effective in passing legislation in California for early detection. And he produced, directed, and edited Farewell, My Subaru, a short documentary about author Doug Fine and the hard-won benefits of his carbon neutral lifestyle in rural New Mexico.13

Filmography

Films

YearTitleCreditRoleNotes
2006GrilledDirector
2001Kissing Jessica SteinAdditional Editor and Creative Consultant
2000Alcatraz AvenueTR Jones
199912 Stops on the Road to NowhereEditor
1998The ListProducerRoxy Emcee

Television

YearTitleCreditNotes/Episodes
2019 The Passage Director 4 episodes

Season 1, Episode 1

Season 1, Episode 2

Season 1, Episode 3

Season 1, Episode 9

2017 2 Broke Girls Director 1 episode

Season 6, Episode 12

The Exorcist Director

Executive Producer

3 Episodes

Season 2, Episode 201

Season 2, Episode 206

Season 2, Episode 210

2016 Lethal Weapon Director 2 Episodes

Season 1, Episode 104

Season 1, Episode 108

Grace and Frankie Director 1 Episode

Season 2, Episode 9

The Exorcist Director 2 Episodes

Season 1, Episode 105

Season 1, Episode 110

2014 Red Band Society Director

Executive Producer

3 episodes

1 season

SirensDirector2 episodes
2013HostagesSeason 1, Episode 2
Brooklyn Nine-NineSeason 1, Episode 5
The GoldbergsSeason 1, Episode 4
The Newsroom Director Season 2, Episode 8
Cult Director

Executive Producer

Season 1, Episode 1

12 episodes

2011-2012Franklin & Bash Director

Executive Producer

7 episodes

19 episodes

2011Hart of DixieSeason 1, Episode 1
Season 1, Episode 2
2009Gossip GirlDirectorSeason 3, Episode 12
The EastmansDirector and Co-Executive ProducerTV Movie
2008-2009Kath & Kim6 episodes
2008 Man of Your Dreams Director TV Movie
PsychDirectorSeason 2, Episode 12
2007-2008ChuckSeason 1, Episode 3
Season 1, Episode 9
Season 2, Episode 1
2007My Name Is EarlSeason 3, Episode 12
Andy Barker, P.I.Director and Producer6 episodes
The World According to BarnesDirectorTV Movie
2006South Beach2 episodes
Help Me Help You2 episodes
2005The West WingSeason 6, Episode 18
2004ScrubsSeason 3, Episode 18
EdSeason 4, Episode 13
2003Martha, Inc.: The Story of Martha StewartTV Movie
Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of 'Three's Company'TV Special

References

2 http://www.mocavo.com/The-Justice-Brandeis-University-Aug-1991-May-1992-Volume-Roll-12-Volume-45-Number-1-Volume-45-Number-25/297790/100

and http://2degreesofalie.tumblr.com/post/36148487895/directorproducer-jason-ensler-shares-stories-of

3 http://www.firstpost.com/topic/person/eric-mccormack-nbc-mockumentary-2002-video-shNJIXU7G9Q-218-12.html

and http://gogoartqueen.tumblr.com/post/15462587273/pitypie-the-zucker-follies-an-nbc-promo-from

4 http://www.sitcomsonline.com/jacksbistro/nbcmovie.html

5 https://www.nytimes.com/2003/05/12/arts/television-review-those-sweet-days-when-a-sitcom-had-clout.html

6 https://www.nytimes.com/2004/11/07/movies/moviesspecial/the-class-of-200405.html?_r=0

and https://variety.com/2004/film/columns/eatery-immortalized-in-grilled-pic-1117908102/

7 http://www.cinemablend.com/dvds/Grilled-1663.html

8 http://uproxx.com/tv/2015/04/andy-barker-pi-oral-history/

10 https://cinema.usc.edu/alumni/hotsheet/2014april.cfm

11 https://www.wsj.com/articles/tv-review-foxs-red-band-society-1410491741

12 http://thisisjasonensler.com/blog/?p=444

13 http://scienceblogs.com/shiftingbaselines/2008/03/31/a-new-short-film-from-shifting/

14 https://www.tvfanatic.com/2016/10/the-exorcist-season-1-episode-5-review-through-my-most-grievous/

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