‘Blackish’ writer now living in Spokane wins ninth Emmy nomination
Whether it was experimenting with short stories as a child or winning Emmys for his prime-time television work, writing has always been a part of Eric Horsted’s life.
To date, with over 25 years of television writing experience, Horsted has won two Emmy Awards for his role as co-executive producer on the “Futurama” writing team. And there might just be one more victory around the corner.
After recently moving his family to Spokane from Los Angeles, he celebrated his ninth Emmy nomination on Tuesday, this time for his role as co-executive producer alongside fellow screenwriters on ABC’s âBlack-ishâ. .
âI’m really happy for the show,â said Horsted, noting his previous nominations for Best Comedy. “It’s an amazing show and a super deserved nomination.”
In addition to âBlack-ish,â Horsted has been nominated in the past for his writing on shows such as âCoach,â starring Spokane-born actor Craig T. Nelson, âHome Improvement,â âRebaâ , “The Boondocks”, “The Simpsons”, “Futurama” and “Disenchantment”.
When the coronavirus pandemic struck and the writers’ chambers were forced to go virtual, Horsted and her husband Michael Perry decided fate had given them a chance to live closer to their family in Spokane and far away from the great city.
So in August, after years of living and working in Los Angeles, Horsted and Perry moved in with their three high school kids and began renovating a house on the Spokane River.
Since moving, Horsted has continued to work remotely, traveling between Spokane and Los Angeles as needed.
âAt least once a year Eric says, ‘This is my last year – I’m going to be a teacher,’â Perry said. But year after year, he can’t help but fall in love with his work again.
âIt’s like a standing factory,â Horsted said. “You have 17 writers in a room throwing jokes and assistants scrambling to write it all down.” Drama you can do from a distance, he said, but the comedy takes place in the writer’s room.
First inspired by comedy writers including Bob Newhart, Norman Lear and John Cleese, Horsted was drawn to the profession very early on.
After graduating from the University of Texas, Horsted worked as a writer’s assistant. This experience, he said, was pivotal for the rest of his career and his studies.
The hours spent reviewing scripts and collaborating with co-workers worked like an apprenticeship, preparing him for later roles.
âEric’s mom kept all of these books he would write when he was a kid in grade school,â Perry said. “You have to start early when you get to those levels, and Eric will say he was an assistant, but he’s always been a writer.”
He was also lucky, Perry said, to have had back-to-back jobs throughout his career, a rarity in Hollywood competition.
âHe’s still loved,â Perry said. âHe has this unique personality that everyone freezes with. In Hollywood, there are a lot of alpha guysâ¦ burnt and burnt bridges.
“But Eric has longevity.”
And it all ties into his âadd all, no subtractâ approach. To aspiring writers, Horsted offered the following advice.
âJust keep writing. Especially when you are starting out, every new thing you write is so much better than what you wrote previously.
In general, all you need is experience, he says. So grab every opportunity, and if you can land a writing assistant job, you’ll be on your way in no time.
âBlack-ishâ is available on ABC and Hulu.