"The Wire," "The Corner," "NYPD Blue," "Homicide: Life on the Street, "ER" and the upcoming HBO series "Treme." That's quite a collection of shows to put on a resume. You can't get better than that. To watch any of those programs is to be wowed. Those shows are a symphony of greatness and Mills was clearly one of the most vital musicians.
His relationship with David Simon went back some 30 years when they were both in college at the University of Maryland, and also when they scrounged up stories at the Washington Post. If you were about to watch a show from Simon and Mills, the bar was set awfully high. And they never failed to deliver.
Beyond his relationship with Simon, Mills was the creator of NBC's 2003 short-lived series "Kingpin," and although the show delivered criticially, it didn't catch on with audiences. Yet, he continued writing with his addictive blog — http://undercoverblackman.blogspot.com — in which he posted just two days ago that positive reviews for "Treme" were starting to pour in.
It's quite sad that Mills, only 48, died in New Orleans of a brain aneurysm only a few days before "Treme" is set to premiere. The series clearly would've once again given the TV viewing public a chance to appreciate Mills' gift as a writer and storyteller.
But for those who appreciate great television, Mills didn't have to prove anything. He was already a giant.