Chris Sheridan, Creator of SyFy's "Resident Alien"

• April 7, 2022

“I always wanted to be a writer, but I didn’t know what type of writing I wanted to do,” said Chris Sheridan, who originally thought he wanted to be a journalist until he discovered screenwriting in college. “It immediately clicked.”

Sheridan’s writing credits include shows like Living Single. Titus, Yes Dear, Family Guy, and most recently Resident Alien. But, he wasn’t always thinking about a path in comedy. “I hadn’t considered comedy but one of the bartenders I worked with said he assumed I would do comedy. I had never really thought of it.”

The story of Resident Alien follows a crash-landed alien who takes on the identity of a small-town Colorado doctor. The adaptation is about a character dealing with the moral dilemma of why he was sent to earth, which was to destroy the planet.

Sheridan’s attachment to the IP came after he started to make a shift towards drama. “Probably 8-9 years ago, I wanted to do cable drama, so I wrote a drama spec pilot that I went out with. I didn’t sell it, but I opened up that world and had to prove myself as a drama writer.”

In this interview, Sheridan talks about character-based comedy, how to get un-pigeonholed as a writer, what it means for actors to police language, being respectful to IP, and advice for getting noticed today.