Michael's favorite episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation are "Best of Both Worlds", "The Perfect Mate" and "The Inner Light."
Michael was responsible for starting the "open door script policy" in the Star Trek franchise, which allowed virtually anyone to submit sorry ideas and script to the shows. One of the submissions lead to the fan favorite Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Yesterday's Enterprise".
Michael's was as an Emmy Award winning journalist for CBS, at WBTV in Charlotte, North Carolina and WBBM TV in Chicago, Illinois, before he turned his focus to TV entertainment.
As one of the producers of Star Trek: The Next Generation Michael, was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series in 1994.
Michael co-created the following TV shows: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, Legend and The Dead Zone.
Michael's favorite movie was "All About Eve". His all time favorite TV show was Twilight Zone.
Michael and his son, Shawn, founded the production company Piller2, Inc.
Michael loved reading history and biography books.
Michael's father was a screenwriter and his mother was a songwriter. He once called them the biggest influence on his career.
Before breaking into writing Michael spent 2 years as a censor for CBS's docudrama unit.
Michael was a big baseball fan, he had a collection of baseball cards with over two hundred thousand cards in it.
Michael graduated from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1970; he received a bachelor's degree in radio, television and motion pictures. He would later go on to serve on the advisory board for the Department of Communications Studies.
At the time of his death Michael was married to Sandra Piller, they had 2 children; daughter Brent and son Shawn.
Piller successfully sold his first feature film script entitled "Oversight" in 1998.
Michael Piller: I think the writing is the most fun. Producing requires politics and diplomacy, and meeting budgets, and so forth. My son is actually a far better producer than I am.
Michael Piller: (about which Star Trek series was his favorite to work on) That's a hard question to answer, because each one had its own pleasures. But I would have to say that the most memorable time was the summer after season 3 of Next Generation, as we were preparing to launch the fourth season and we watched this remarkable groundswell of excitement that "The Best of Both Worlds, Part I" created.
Michael Piller: I have no interest in directing at all. Especially after seeing someone like Rob Lieberman do such an extraordinary job on The Dead Zone pilot. I would never rule out any possibility when it comes to Star Trek, but I felt that I had done just about everything I could do in space when I left.
Michael Piller: As a writer I feel a very strong obligation to explore the human condition, to entertain but also to enlighten. I'm not attracted to stories that are simply there to thrill or shock. The core of all of my work is a character in conflict who must face an ethical and moral dilemma. Ultimately the character will triumph or not, but I want the character to explore his or her own integrity and strength through the story's elements.
Michael Piller: I was very influenced as a kid by Rod Serling. Twilight Zone was a date that I never missed. I just loved the connection of social conscious and imagination and fantasy that Twilight Zone offered.
Michael Piller: I think the Star Trek experience was the greatest experience of my career up until now, and I doubt that it can be recreated easily. The truth is that by the time I reached the end of my, what, twelve years on Star Trek, I really felt that I had said almost everything I knew how to say in the space element, and was saying it over again.
Michael Piller: The best writing that we've done on Star Trek is really exploring who we are as human beings. As soon as we turn our attention to space monsters and exploding, space ships, we're no better or worse than the other any other science fiction, but what makes Star Trek special is that Roddenberry humanist adventure, finding out who we are.