Canadian-American screenwriter, Denis McGrath passed away today at the age of 48.
Denis McGrath is best known for his contributions to the world of Canadian network television. One of his most notable contributions came from his time as the TV producer for the Gemini Award-winning, MediaTelevision. He’s credited for bringing Canadian media into the digital age, marketing one of the first programs in the country to maintain an email address. McGrath did over five hundred stories during the first wave of dot.com entrepreneurs, interviewing a number of famous authors and TV types such as Chris Carter and Bruce Sterling. In 2008, Denis McGrath was elected into the Writer’s Guild of Canada, an organization representing over two thousand professional writers.
Born in New York City, Denis McGrath moved to Canada where he lived in Toronto, Ontario. His career as a TV producer began at the educational network, TVOntario. He graduated from Ryerson University, returning to teach writing part-time between 1994 and 2006. At the same time, McGrath worked at Toronto’s famous Citytv station. In 1997, Denis McGrath became the first producer for Space, Canada’s Sci-Fi channel. He created several of the channels early segments such as Conspiracy Guy, a comedy segment where an oddball character came up with crazy conspiracy theories. McGrath also created and hosted the channel’s late night movie show, Spacebar. After leaving Space in the late 2000’s, Denis McGrath became a resident of the Canada Film Centre’s Prime Time TV program.
Outside of Television, Denis McGrath wrote the script and lyrics to Top Gun: Top Gun! The Musical, a satirical musical based on the movie Top Gun. Debuting in 2002, the musical went on to become the highest-grossing show in the history of the Toronto Fringe Festival and was nominated for two Dora Mavor Moore Awards. Top Gun! The Musical received several reproductions in places such as Texas and Halifax.
In 2005, Denis McGrath started a blog called Dead Things on Sticks. Though it began as a personal screenwriting blog, it eventually became known as a popular daily discussion blog, covering the Canadian Television industry until its ending in 2010. Posts of the blog are archived and can still be found online.
We at CGMagonline wish Denis McGrath’s family and friends comfort as they go through this difficult time.