By Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist Published Feb 10, 2010 at 11:00 AM
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Jess Prosser has been in the movie and TV business for just about a decade now, getting his start as a production assistant on a couple indie flicks, "Super Troopers" and "L.I.E."

He moved into TV, and the 32-year-old Prosser has been a writers' assistant on CBS' "Criminal Minds," for the past few years, coming from NBC's "Third Watch."

And tonight we're watching a major step in the Marquette High School grad's career: He's got the writing credit for the latest episode of CBS' "Criminal Minds" at 8 tonight on Channel 58.

While the script is his baby, Prosser acknowledges that writing for TV is a collaborative effort.  It starts with cards on a story board, turns into an outline and then finally becomes a script -- which goes through a series of revisions.

It's not a place for a big ego about your script.

"From my experience, network television's not really the place for that," he says.

He sees writing for a drama, like "Criminal Minds" -- with its  structure of a teaser and four acts -- as different from a comedy. In his case, it's the story that's more important than the specific lines that he might fight for in a sitcom script.

"It worked out pretty well," he tells me. "I'm pretty pleased."

There were a few moments as the episode was produced, when location shooting prompted some questions.

"There were some scenes that, logistically, I was a little concerned about, from the cost end," he says. That forced some last-minute rewrites, "based on the nature of the locations we could get."

Coincidentally, the cast of this episode includes Nate Mooney, a native of Franklin. He plays the "unsub," or "unknown subject of an investigation" in tonight's installment.

Prosser, whose brother, Emmett, is a sports blogger for, says they did pass some time on the set chatting about the Packers.

What else would a couple of Wisconsin boys do?

On TV: Channel 6 had fun during Tuesday's snow with its high-tech snow-measuring device on its weather desk:

If you can't see the live streaming video, click on "reload" at the lower left.

  • A focus of "Basketball Wives: The E! True Hollywood Story" is Kenya Bell, the wife of Milwaukee Bucks guard Charlie Bell, at 9 tonight on E! Entertainment Television.
  • Waukesha's Lonna Kissling is having her skating talents showcased in three national commercials for Sonic Drive-ins. The 17-year-old Kissling works as a Sonic car hop.
  • NBC has set aside a full hour on March 4 for the birth of Jim and Pam's baby on "The Office."
  • Cybergossip Perez Hilton says the CW has no plans to bring the new "Melrose Place" back for another season.
  • CBS' Craig Ferguson has signed on with a Twitter account.
  • Richard Rushfield in the Daily Beast tears apart the silly talk about Howard Stern being considered as an "American Idol" judge. C'mon, the show's younger female target audience and the extreme male-skewing humor that is Stern's shtick just don't fit together.
  • Captain Phil Harris of Discovery Channel's "Deadliest Catch," died yesterday, a few weeks after suffering a stroke.
The latest from the Muppets: The Muppets Studio has been cranking out a series of entertaining videos over the past few months, starting with "Bohemian Rhapsody" last November.

This week, a version of Kansas' "Dust in the Wind" was released, starring Beaker, and featuring a jab at social media:

Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist

Tim Cuprisin is the media columnist for He's been a journalist for 30 years, starting in 1979 as a police reporter at the old City News Bureau of Chicago, a legendary wire service that's the reputed source of the journalistic maxim "if your mother says she loves you, check it out." He spent a couple years in the mean streets of his native Chicago, and then moved on to the Green Bay Press-Gazette and USA Today, before coming to the Milwaukee Journal in 1986.

A general assignment reporter, Cuprisin traveled Eastern Europe on several projects, starting with a look at Poland after five years of martial law, and a tour of six countries in the region after the Berlin Wall opened and Communism fell. He spent six weeks traversing the lands of the former Yugoslavia in 1994, linking Milwaukee Serbs, Croats and Bosnians with their war-torn homeland.

In the fall of 1994, a lifetime of serious television viewing earned him a daily column in the Milwaukee Journal (and, later the Journal Sentinel) focusing on TV and radio. For 15 years, he has chronicled the changes rocking broadcasting, both nationally and in Milwaukee, an effort he continues at

When he's not watching TV, Cuprisin enjoys tending to his vegetable garden in the backyard of his home in Whitefish Bay, cooking and traveling.