March 31st, 2010
01:10 PM ET

'Wire,' 'Treme' writer David Mills dies

David Mills, a writer and producer for some of the best TV shows of the past two decades - including "Homicide," "Picket Fences," "ER" and "The Wire" - has died, CNN has confirmed through HBO.

Mills reportedly died of a brain aneurysm Tuesday in New Orleans, where he was a writer and co-producer of the new HBO series "Treme." The show is scheduled for its premiere April 11. (HBO, like CNN, is a unit of Time Warner.)

"HBO is deeply saddened by the sudden loss of our dear friend and colleague David Mills," the network said in a statement to CNN and HLN. "He was a gracious and humble man, and will be sorely missed by those who knew and loved him, as well as those who were aware of his immense talent."

Mills was a newspaper reporter when he made the jump into TV writing with "Homicide," a series based on work by his friend and fellow reporter David Simon. The pair won a Writers Guild award for a "Homicide" script.

According to TV critic Alan Sepinwall, Mills was responsible for creating the character of Dr. Romano on "ER." He also won Emmys for his work on the HBO series "The Corner," another Simon project.

"Treme" has earned a great deal of advance press for its subject matter - a neighborhood in post-Katrina New Orleans - and its pedigree, including Simon and other "Wire" veterans. Simon and the show were the subject of a major New York Times Magazine story earlier in March.

Mills was 48.

soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. Miss J

    Hollywood is known for glorifying Actors, but for me it's the writers who deserve most of the glory. They turn a simple sheet of paper into a magical wonderland that takes your mind on a fantastic journey. David was an amazing writer and in the days of mindless reality TV a talent like his will be greatly missed.

    April 1, 2010 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Dave Letterman


    April 1, 2010 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  3. O

    His works were amazing i never knew certain things about my own city until HBO came to Baltimore and started fliming history his works will never be forgotten and he will be missed my thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends although i didnt know u personally I gained a lot from you and u will be missed R.i.p David Mills.

    April 1, 2010 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  4. LPB


    Very sad, and right on the eve of he latest project, "Treme".

    Here's a link to an obituary written by David SImon that appeared in the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Those of you who have posted inaccurate claims here (Tony, Howard) would benefit from reading it.

    April 1, 2010 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  5. Dany win

    Go to! Market your business to one of the largest international trade marketplace. ! FR-E-E!

    March 31, 2010 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mark

    I just lost my father in law a few weeks ago, I just hope and pray his closest family and friends can find as much comfort as possible in this terrible time. I will say it's nice to see so much love for him on this thread.

    Take care, David, wherever you are. We miss you.

    March 31, 2010 at 11:48 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Russ

    If you never saw Homicide, you should check it out. Not hip, flashy, or TV prime time friendly, just incredible writing and acting. Rest well Mr. Mills.

    March 31, 2010 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Dale

    The Wire..Greatest show ever made! RIP,

    March 31, 2010 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mark

    A GREAT man who will be SORELY missed by even those who don;t understand his contribution.

    March 31, 2010 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
  10. alexis

    david mills i feel so hurt broken for you im sure you did so much to help but when its time for you to go it just is and to the family -i am so sorry you guys have had to go through this-

    March 31, 2010 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
  11. ken Warner

    Homicide was the best series I ever watched. I loved it, and it was totally relevant. Too bad current shows can't get that serious, and have to stop at fluff.

    March 31, 2010 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
  12. salsbst

    "God must have needed a good writer"

    I suspect he would have appreciated this immensely or at least have given a sideways grin to it. Thanks, Jordan.

    March 31, 2010 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  13. colin

    can one of the moderators please remove Willie12345's comment? This isn't the place for partisan rants.

    March 31, 2010 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  14. colin

    R.I.P. David. You leave behind a legacy of amazing, intelligent, awe-inspiring work. Your work on The Wire (the greatest piece of filmed media – movies, television etc.) alone should cement you as one of the greatest writing talents of this century. You will be missed.

    March 31, 2010 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Heath

    This is a shock that such a talented screen writer has died at a young age. His shows will live on.

    Rest in peace

    March 31, 2010 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Seth

    David helped me years ago. He was a generous man with a good heart. He'll be missed.

    March 31, 2010 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  17. JamesC

    The Wire is one of the best shows I have ever seen. If you havent seen it, find it.

    A talent like David will be missed.

    March 31, 2010 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Julie

    Great writer! ER and Homicide were two of my favs. RIP

    March 31, 2010 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  19. salsbst

    The comment about ranchers should be flagged as inappropriate.... but CNN's site doesn't allow it. So congratulations, Teabaggy. You've polluted the heartfelt comments about a wonderful man who has died. Now stop and allow the rest of us to share in some measure of grief. I'm sure you have somewhere important to be.

    March 31, 2010 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  20. james

    lol willie12345 your silly. Please dont tell me you really feel that way?
    if so bust out a pad and pen and scoot down there to mexico and report away. I cant stand the fact that almost every news story out of mexico these days has to do wit a murder in one way or another. Time to clean that rat hole up and do it quick before more people die.

    March 31, 2010 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Satoma

    His insight into charcters was second to none. What a huge loss!!!

    March 31, 2010 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  22. james

    Man what a bummer I can just hope he felt no pain I lost a childhood friend to a brain aneurysm we are in our 40's now. I myself had an aortic aneurysm at just 28; my prayers are with him and his family. This is a tremendous loss to the field of creative television writers.

    March 31, 2010 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Jordan

    God must have needed a good writer.

    March 31, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Anne Gallagher

    What a shock. My deepest sympathies to his friends, co-workers and family. I am a big fan of the shows he worked on and he was a very talented writer.

    March 31, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Chris

    The Wire. Best television series EVER. I always thought the show was severely underrated. The man was a genius with this work...and will be terribly missed.

    March 31, 2010 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Skye

    I can't believe he's gone. I just spoke to him a few weeks ago. I know everyone will talk about what a great writer he was. But, I remember him as someone who took the time to meet with me (an unknown writer), took me to eat at Itana Bahia restaurant, take me to the set of The Corner when I was visiting Maryland, introduce me around, give me advice, become my friend, and stay in touch with me over the years because I was the proverbial young, gifted and black writer. And during a time when he could just have insulated himself in his success in a white male dominated world, David's hand and heart was continually stretched out to other blacks. Even when his mom was terminally ill, he returned my calls and continued to encourage me. David's success was on a level beyond that of most writer-producers in Hollywood. But, I will always remember him for the heart and courage he displayed in regularly being there for people of color on much lower levels, when he didn't need to be. I guess that says it all. David took the time to do things that maybe he didn't need to do, but things that someone ought to have. A successful man with a sense of ethics. Can't find many of those in Hollywood. I will miss you, David.

    March 31, 2010 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Howard Boasberg

    Todd Leopold:
    Re: your story on David Milch...not David Mills.He wrote LA Law,NYPD etc.
    Grew up in Buffalo N.Y. His father Elmer Milch was a leading surgeon in Buffalo.David has a brother in Buffalo who is a physician.

    Unless I have the wrong person but I don't think I do....his name is David Milch

    March 31, 2010 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Siddue

    Why no pic of the young man that passed? Tragic loss.

    March 31, 2010 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Tony

    David Mills was a great writer, and this is a tremendous loss for television.

    The banner line read "NYPD Blue writer dies". I think they confused Mr. Mills with David Milch. I don't believe David Mills wrote for NYPD Blue, but I may be mistaken.

    March 31, 2010 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  30. smj

    Much too young – he was a fantastic and gritty writer – all of those shows were amazing and stand on their own.

    Condolences to his family.

    March 31, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Craig Zeichner

    The Wire is one of the masterpieces of television. A terrible loss.

    March 31, 2010 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Duiwel

    I am a huge fan of David's shows, especially The Wire, he will be missed. My condolences to his family.

    March 31, 2010 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Ann

    So a WRITER dies, but CNN shows a picture of an ACTRESS?!!

    March 31, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Dick

    His writing made us better in the way we deal with our real worlds. We are better for his having been with us for such a short period of time. May his soul find peace.

    March 31, 2010 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  35. txkboy

    Sad to hear. Prayers to his family. Maybe Khandi will return to CSI Miami. It's just not the same without her.

    March 31, 2010 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Carol

    What a terrible loss for his family. Much too young to die- and so suddenly.

    What a sad loss for the public. We have benefited by enjoying his talent for years. ER and NYPD Blue are two of the best shows I've ever seen.
    When will they release the next season of NYPD Blue on DVD? What a tribute it could be for us to enjoy the rest of his awesome work.

    March 31, 2010 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Gwennn

    Wow, what a loss. The Wire to me, is the best show that has ever been on TV. His writing was gritty, honest and simply the best on TV. You could always tell when he wrote something. My condolences to his family, friends and colleagues. Bless his Spirit, and his life.

    March 31, 2010 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Mary

    R. I. P

    March 31, 2010 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  39. dee

    one damn good writer and person!!

    March 31, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Shermani

    This is a horrific loss. My thoughts and prayers go out to David's family.

    March 31, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Doug

    Dumb Picture. What about a picture of the guy who died instead of some chick? Bad taste.

    March 31, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  42. chris

    This man was an amazing writer. All the shows mentioned were brilliant and to know that he was responsible for the majority of that, makes it even more sad. The world has lost a touch of Brilliance.May
    he rest and smile that because of DVD, his work will live on forever.

    March 31, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Brian J.

    The Wire is an incredible show. Like watching literature on the screen. Everyone should get the DVDs and watch the first seasons. I've never seen a more accurate depiction of urban American life.

    March 31, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Pat Nelson

    David was dearly loved by family and friends. He has a great spirit and we will miss him so. Thank you all for your condolences.

    March 31, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Dave

    I don't see how the picture is inappropriate as it's a depiction of his latest work. His picture on the IMDB link to his name in the article was taken in 2004. Maybe there were no current pictures of him available.

    March 31, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Dave

    He certainly was a great writer. The actors on NYPD Blue accredited the grit of it's characters to Mills. He had his demons that I hope he conquered. As a person, artist and talent, he will be missed.

    March 31, 2010 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Nila

    I agree Jack!
    I'm sorry to hear about this, he was a great writer.

    March 31, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Nila

    I agree with Jack, should have been a picture of David. I'm sorry to hear about this, he was a great writer.

    March 31, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Jack

    Why not a picture of David? Inappropriate picture..

    March 31, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Melissa

    May you Rest in Peace/ Paradise. My prayers go out to the family and friends.

    Love, Melissa

    March 31, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  51. Jaisun

    The Wire is one of the most underrated tv shows in history. And it is my favorite show of all-time.

    My condolences go out to your family.

    March 31, 2010 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Alex

    Just as a factual correction, it's "Alan Sepinwall." Not David.

    March 31, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  53. Jennifer

    What a terrible loss. You will be missed David

    March 31, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |

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