Edward Allen Bernero

Edward Allen Bernero


8/29/1962, Chicago, Illinois

Birth Name



Also Known As

Ed Bernero
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Born on Chicago's North Side, Ed Bernero was a police officer for 10 years before becoming a television writer. He worked the midnight shift, and began writing when his wife, Barbara, and children were at work and school just to have something to do during the day. As…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Ed Bernero has teamed up with Munich-based Tandem Communications on a new one-hour action crime series set in Europe called Crossing Lines. The project follows a broken New York detective who finds unlikely redemption when an ex-colleague convinces him to join an elite unit of younger cops to hunt down Europe's most brutal criminals. The show will be set in Amsterdam and shot in Europe, with the story focusing on criminal cases that cross the continent's borders.

    • Nellie Andreeva (Deadline) announced on October 20, 2011, that Fox purchased a put pilot produced by Ed Bernero called The Punisher, which is a series adaptation of the Marvel comic book. Andreeva also stated Bernero had a high-concept spec called The Eye, a Western with a paranormal twist set in 1871 Arizona and centered on a team of Pinkerton Detectives who search for answers to unexplained phenomena.

    • Nellie Andreeva (Deadline) announced on October 20, 2011, that Fox purchased a put pilot produced by Ed Bernero called The Punisher, which is a series adaptation of the Marvel comic book. Andreeva also stated Bernero had a high-concept spec called The Eye, a Western with a paranormal twist set in 1871 Arizona and centered on a team of Pinkerton Detectives who search for answers to unexplained phenomena.

    • Nellie Andreeva announced on January 13, 2011, that ABC had picked up a new pilot from Criminal Minds executive producer/showrunner Ed Bernero called Partners, a police drama centered on two female police detectives who are fiercely loyal to one another since they are also secretly sisters.

    • It was announced by Nellie Andreeva on October 5, 2010 (Deadline Hollywood) that Ed Bernero would take over showrunner responsibilities for Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior. Ed also has three projects in development with ABC: a spec, which he wrote; The Box, which he is co-writing with Norman Morrill; and a third project written by Laurie McCarthy, which is still in negotiations.

    • Ed was nominated for a Humanitas Prize in 2001 in the 60-Minute Category for the Third Watch episode "After Hours."

    • Ed and Barbara Bernero became the proud grandparents of Miles Alexander Koiter on October 15, 2009. Daughter Amanda, who works as a researcher on Criminal Minds, and Jason Koiter were married on May 3, 2008, in Lanai, Hawaii.

    • Ed Bernero is such a big fan of Hawaii Five-O that the theme song is the ringtone on his phone.

    • Ed's father was a union truck driver.

    • According to Variety (March 9, 2007), Ed Bernero and CBS Paramount Network Television have inked a two-year, seven-figure overall deal that will include developing and creating programming for the studio as well as potentially supervising the work of other creators.

    • Ed Bernero is a Chicago Bears fan.

    • Ed's 10 years on the job as a Chicago police officer had taken a psychological toll, and he felt as though he had fundamentally changed as a human because all he would see were bad things. It was this introspection that turned his interest to the process of catching serial killers.

    • Ed Bernero maintains that, although the Criminal Minds writers do take some dramatic license, they insist on accuracy and make the show as realistic as possible.

    • Movies are something Ed has always wanted to try, but television will always be his first love.

    • In 1995, Ed Bernero founded the Chicago Screenwriters Network to promote sharing and developing one's work and ideas with fellow writers.

    • Ed Bernero did not like being a cop in Chicago and believed his job was eating away at his soul. His passion for writing led him to Hollywood where all his experience as a police officer has paid off. Bernero quit the police force and moved his wife, Barbara, their three children and dog to Los Angeles in October 1999.

    • Ed Bernero's first job in Hollywood was as a writer for an episode of F/X: The Series.

    • Ed became a Chicago police officer in 1986 and worked mostly in the 020th District (Foster Avenue) for 10 years. His last day on the street was August 15, 1996.

  • Quotes

    • Ed Bernero: (discussing women in crime dramas) When I was growing up, it was stuff like Mannix and Rockford Files where you had one man against the world. There was always this boy fantasy of 'I'm gonna be the hero.'

    • Ed Bernero: (discussing Criminal Minds with Diane Haithman, Deadline Hollywood, January 6, 2010) We are very different from those shows, because at our most procedural, our show is about character. Our show is about the character of the person committing the crime, so it's all a character study. It's all psychology and human motivation, so it's different from any other show. I've said numerous times that what's unique about our show is, in every other cop show, if they don't do their jobs, somebody might get away with a crime. In our show, if we don't do our jobs, more people are going to die. Every other show investigates crimes in the past. We investigate crimes in the future.

    • Ed Bernero: (comparing the team members of the BAU with Arthurian knights) That's what these guys are. They're battling the only real monsters we have left in the world.

    • Ed Bernero: (discussing Criminal Minds reaching its 100-episode mark) I honestly don't see a reason why we couldn't do 300 episodes. We still have things to explore with these characters. We're still having a great time.

    • Ed Bernero: (discussing how storytelling in Criminal Minds is different at its most basic level) We've never collected a fingerprint, we've never collected a bit of physical evidence. All we collect is character.

    • Ed Bernero: Being from Chicago, writing is not something anyone thinks about a lot. It became more important as I kept at it and got encouragement.

    • Ed Bernero: (discussing the Emmy Awards and the procedurals genre) In the last couple of years, CBS made some huge tries at things that were really brave and unique - and didn't work. And now networks realize that, while they get all of the benefits when shows are successes, they have to eat all of that in failure. Procedurals offer the basics of storytelling that people want to hear. It's very Arthurian and basic to human experience. People like to think that, while they can be scared and pull the blanket up around them, there are heroes out there who will save the day. It's very comforting, and that's why there will always be a huge market for cop shows: People need to know there are heroes.

    • Ed Bernero: (discussing his casting strategy on Criminal Minds) It's hard to imagine Jason Alexander killing 12 people, but that goes a little bit of distance of what we're trying to show. A serial killer could be your next-door neighbor. It's the last person in the world you would think of.

    • Ed Bernero: (discussing how his experience as a cop transfers to his job as an producer) They always start off with a bit of anger ("How dare they run from me!"). Then comes a nagging fear that the kid you're chasing is faster, in better shape and definitely more committed to getting away than you are to catching him. Finally, in this case, there's real ice-in-the-pit-of-your-stomach fear. Trust me, if you find yourself in an almost pitch-dark back lot with no idea where your suspect is and no way to tell anyone where you are, that's frightening. This is the sort of thing I try to relate to my fellow writers and cast. Nuts and bolts and procedure are important, but the feeling is a unique view of cop life my experience has given me.

    • Ed Bernero: (regarding the strike season of 2007/2008) There are a number of companies — Google, Yahoo, Apple, Dell — with billions of dollars that they want to invest. I do I think that showrunners and show creators are entrepreneurial at their heart. And they've spend the last three years watching their stuff get fed to telephone screens and computers, and I really think they're fed up with it.

    • Ed Bernero: (Los Angeles Times - November 24, 2007) This is the only industry in the world where employees would actually do extra work to help their employer withstand a strike. Could you imagine being in a widget factory and having someone say, 'Hurry up, let's make more widgets because we are going on strike?'

    • Ed Bernero: (discussing the future of writing for webisodes - The Wall Street Journal 11/15/07) If we can't reach a deal [with the studios], I'll just call Google or Yahoo or one of those companies, and make a deal myself.

    • Ed Bernero: We are all thrilled to have Joe Mantegna joining our family. He's an incredible actor, a genuinely nice person and, as a fellow Chicagoan, I can tell you he makes fantastic Italian beef sandwiches and Chicago-style hot dogs.

    • Ed Bernero: (when asked if he is worried about running out of material for Criminal Minds) At any given time, there are 30 serial killers working in the United States.

    • Ed Bernero: (discussing story ideas for Criminal Minds) And then once we find something that we think it will really work with our team, then we sort of delve into that case and try to make it as different as possible. Jim Clemente is a resource we use. He's not actually our technical advisor. He's a Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) profiler. And oftentimes, we will just call him and ask him things like, 'What would you think about this kind of a guy?' Or things like that. He never brings us real cases that they're working on or anything. In fact, he stays as far away from those things as possible. So we sort of go to him and ask him questions when we need to.

    • Ed Bernero: (regarding the post-Super Bowl exposure of Criminal Minds) I hope that there's a segment of the country that thinks they know what the show is, and that they tune in and watch and find out they're wrong, and find out that we're more X-Files than CSI.

    • Ed Bernero: (comparing police work to producing) In the end, it's not unlike being a cop. You're babysitting people who should be able to babysit themselves.

    • Ed Bernero: Our cases all start with a basis in reality, but we've had to tone down almost every single one of them (noting Jim Clemente, a real-life FBI profiler, is the lead adviser on the show). What is really happening is much worse than anything we could or want to do.

    • Ed Bernero: (regarding Criminal Minds) It's not a show for young kids. I wouldn't let an 8-year-old watch the show. It's an adult show about adult subjects. Hopefully, we've illuminated some things that primarily parents need to know about keeping their children safe, but it's not a show I would recommend you watch with your children. It's a scary show.

    • Ed Bernero: (regarding Mandy Patinkin in the Jason Gideon role) It's especially tough on Mandy. I've talked to him about my experiences as a cop, and he is now going through many of the things that I went through. When you immerse yourself in this world, it can't help but change the way you look at things.

    • Ed Bernero: (regarding Criminal Minds' MPAA rating) It's not a show that I would recommend you watch with your children. It's not. Because of the subject matter, we try to make it scary. I know that CBS will label it as such.

    • Ed Bernero: (on why he wanted to change careers and write about the FBI's hunt for serial killers, rapists, arsonists and terrorists) I felt I had fundamentally changed as a human. All I would see were bad things.

    • Ed Bernero: (regarding Criminal Minds being aired after Super Bowl XLI) It's completely shocking because I had no idea anyone was considering us (for the slot). It's the most incredible opportunity I've ever had. I'm also a Chicago Bears fan, so it may be the greatest single day of my life.

    • Ed Bernero: (discussing the art of writing) If you're struggling, find another way to express yourself. Writing is too difficult an undertaking if you're not having fun. Do it because you love it.

    • Ed Bernero: I'm not fascinated [with] serial killers. I'm fascinated [with] the people who devote their lives to going after them.

    • Ed Bernero: (comparing the characters on Criminal Minds to the Knights of the Round Table) ...these are modern-day knights and they're going out to fight the biggest dragons in society. And I think that's what people are responding to.

    • Ed Bernero: (discussing his writing career) CSN [Chicago Screenwriters Network] is responsible for me being where I am today.

    • Ed Bernero: (discussing Criminal Minds versus Lost) I think the quickest way to die would be to try and focus on beating a show. If that was our focus, then what would we do next week?

    • Ed Bernero: What sets [Criminal] Minds apart from the crowded field of cop shows is that it's less a procedural and more a suspense thriller. Although not as obvious as in 24, there's a built-in ticking clock. If the case isn't solved, another person is likely to die. And we're the only show that does that focuses all of our work from the standpoint of why. It's not a standard cop thing. Most other shows deal with how, what and where. We ask, 'Why this victim?'

    • Ed Bernero: (explaining the popularity of Criminal Minds) We have a completely different approach. On Law & Order, if they don't do their jobs right, somebody might get away with murder. If we don't do it right, someone else is gonna die. Most crime shows are after-the-fact. We're trying to keep another crime from happening. I think that's endlessly interesting, not only to cops, but to the audience.

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