Rob DesHotel, Writer on 'That '70s Show' and 'Man With a Plan,' Dies at 52

The writer-producer also worked on 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer,' 'True Blood,' and 'Mike & Molly.'

Rob DesHotel, the television writer-producer who worked on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, That '70s Show, True Blood, Mike & Molly and most recently Man With a Plan, has died. He was 52.

DesHotel died from a suspected heart attack.

The writer, who graduated from Webster University with a degree in media communications in 1988, worked early in his career as a writers' assistant on the NBC soap opera Santa Barbara from 1990-1991. But when he graduated to a full-time writer, he worked primarily in the comedy genre, penning scripts for the Nickelodeon series The Adventures of Pete & Pete, the NBC sitcom Hope & Gloria, USA Network's Duckman and Fox's Bruno the Kid.

DesHotel's work on Pete & Pete landed him a meeting with Buffy the Vampire Slayer showrunner Joss Whedon, who was looking for writers from multiple genres (not just drama) on the show. DesHotel was promoted to executive story editor from story editor in the second season and has said that the Angel character, played by David Boreanaz, was hardest to write. 

His favorite character to write on Buffy, on the other hand, was Xander (Nicholas Brendon), "probably because I was most like him growing up," he told the Music in the Dark blog in 2017. "Not one of the popular kids, but that also freed me up to do my own thing. He’s a great example of something the show did better than any other at the time, and that was depicting the awkwardness and the persistent off-balance feeling of being fifteen years old."

From there, DesHotel became a writer and producer on Fox's That '70s Show, staying from the series' second season to its final eighth season. Subsequently, he became an executive producer and writer on CBS' Gary Unmarried and Mad Love, followed by work executive producing HBO's True Blood. He also wrote for and executive produced Mike & Molly and Man With a Plan on CBS.

DesHotel is survived by his wife Emily DesHotel, an ABC Studios casting director, and their two children.