US screenwriter, producer, director, and composer. He has worked extensively in both film and television and is responsible for creating some of the 21st century's first popular television series, including the action adventure series Alias (2001), starring Jennifer Garner, and the castaway drama Lost (2004).
He worked in film throughout the 1990s. He wrote and produced the dramas Regarding Henry (1991) and Forever Young (1992), and the thriller Joy Ride (2001). He wrote the screenplays for the comedy Gone Fishin' (1997) and the science-fiction action film Armageddon (1998). He produced the comedies The Pallbearer (1996) and The Suburbans (1999). He wrote and directed the third instalment of the Mission Impossible series, released in 2006. His first major television series was the drama Felicity (1998), about a girl who follows a crush to New York after graduating from high school.
He was born in New York, but grew up in Los Angeles, California, the son of television producer Gerald W Abrams (1939– ). After his grandfather took him on a tour of a Hollywood film studio at the age of eight, he began experimenting with filmmaking, using his family's Super-8 camera. He achieved his first feature film success after his senior year at Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, New York, when he wrote a screenplay which was later adapted into the comedy Taking Care of Business (1990).