This morning brought tragic news from the television world, as David Mills, who wrote for such acclaimed television shows as The Wire, ER and NYPD Blue, as well as the upcoming Treme, died of a brain aneurysm. According to the Baltimore Sun, Mills was just 48.
Like David Simon, with whom Mills collaborated on The Wire, Treme, Homicide: Life on the Street, and the 2000 miniseries The Corner, Mills worked as a journalist before entering the TV business. His journalistic career is perhaps most noteworthy for an interview with Sistah Souljah, in which she made controversial, racially-motivated remarks later famously rebuked by Bill Clinton.
Mills also wrote the blog Undercover Black Man, where he provided sharp takes on music, current events, race-related issues in general, and occasionally posted insightful interviews as well (such as this one with Simon from 2007). In a sad sign of just how sudden Mills’ death was, he last posted on Undercover Black Man just two days ago.
TV critic Alan Sepinwall, Mills’ friend and one of the foremost Wire fans, just posted a must-read tribute to Mills on his blog. Judging by the quality of Mills’ television projects and blog content, it was easy for anyone to tell Mills’ death meant the loss of an outstanding writer. Judging by Sepinwall’s anecdotes, it’s just as easy to tell it meant the loss of an awfully good man.
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