TV's Top 50 Showrunners 2010
Tolan is ever-prepared; though he and Leary's "Rescue Me" is wrapping up, he's already got his next gig lined up -- with an NBC pilot commitment for "Brave New World." Still, he can't give his new "World" much attention yet -- "Rescue" is written almost entirely by him, Leary and Evan T. Reilly. Tolan says they've got an endgame in mind, and they've abandoned the idea of Leary's character committing suicide. "That's too grim," he says. "You have to have some kind of positive outcome."
Favorite TV Moment: "I came to Hollywood when I was about 30 -- I wasn't a kid," Tolan recalls. "And I was not a starstruck sort of person, but I really wanted to meet Dick Van Dyke. So one year at the Emmys they had all the winners on-stage, and I walked over there with my (1998) Emmy in tow and shook his hand -- and that was it."
Big Break: "I was always in these situations where I didn't know what the f*** I was doing," Tolan says. "But [producer] Matt Williams believed I could, and he was the first person to recognize and believe in me."