Buffalo's Tom Fontana, the producer/writer connected to such well-known works as St.Elsewhere, Oz and Homicide: Life on the Street, says he hasn't been back to Buffalo recently, but that will change this Columbus Day weekend when he appears at a series of events.
On Sunday, Fontana will be recognized at annual gala of the Federation of Italian-American Societies of Western New York.
"They very kindly are giving me the 'Man of the Year' award. I'm not 100 percent sure why I deserve it, but being a man who believes in accepting awards when they're offered, I have gratefully accepted."
The Buffalo State graduate knows something about receiving awards from a career that has featured three Writer's Guild Awards, three Emmy's, four Peabody's and many others.
Fontana plans to host a special dinner for friends and family during his weekend in Buffalo. On Saturday afternoon along Hertel Avenue he'll serve as Grand Marshall for the Columbus Parade.
He took a moment Thursday from his edit work on his current Netflix series "Borgia" to talk with WBFO News. After years of success, he maintains a work ethic that dates back to his days in Buffalo.
"I have had this writing process basically since I went to Canisius High School. I get up at 5 and I write. I get up directly and sit down and write. I don't distract myself," Fontana said.
"A lot of writers do whatever they can to avoid starting to write. I actually love to write and I consider it a blessing that I get to do it every day. Every day I get to do something I love and I get paid for it, I mean how stupid would I be to try to avoid it."