Joe Keenan's career trajectory in television can be traced back to roots in a comic novel he authored and a musical he wrote.
Born in Cambridge, Mass. in 1958, Keenan attended Columbia College and received a master's degree of fine arts in musical theatre from New York University in 1986. Afterward, he wrote two comic novels, Blue Heaven and Putting on the Ritz, which received the 1991 Lambda Award for Humor.
Keenan began writing for television in 1991, shortly after his musical "The Times," garnered that year's Richard Rodgers Development Grant by the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. After the production premiered in 1993 at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Conn., the show's lyrics were awarded the Kleban Award.
In 1991, "Cheers" creators James Burrows and Glen and Les Charles, having read his novel Blue Heaven, invited Keenan to create a new sitcom for their production company. The resulting pilot, "Gloria Vane" starring JoBeth Williams, led to a writing post on FRASIER. His first produced script for the series, titled "The Matchmaker," received an Emmy Award nomination, a GLAAD Media Award and the 1995 Writers Guild Award for Episodic Comedy. He won a writing Emmy Award in 1996 for been one of six writers of the classic Season Three episode "Moon Dance," and also received Emmy Award nominations for "The Ski Lodge" episode in 1998 and, with Christopher Lloyd, "Something Borrowed, Someone Blue" in 2000. The latter episode won the 2001 WGA award for Episodic Comedy. During his six-season tenure on "Frasier", he rose through the ranks from executive story editor, to co-producer, supervising producer, co-executive producer, and finally, executive producer.
At the end of Season Seven Keenan, along with Christopher Lloyd, left "Frasier" to pursue other project. In 2002 Lloyd and Keenan created the short-lived TV Series "Bram & Alice" where he and Lloyd wrote the pilot and served as executive producer.
After "Bram & Alice" was cancelled the
Emmy Award-winner and Academy Award-nominee Keenan returned, along with Lloyd, as executive producers for the eleventh, and final, season of the hit comedy serier "Frasier".
Since "Frasier" ended in 2004 Lloyd has been working with Keenan on a new sitcom "Out of Practice" which has been picked up by CBS and will first air in September 2005.