Director Mike Robe grew up with a fascination for films cultivated by his parents, and worked in the local theatre, on sets and as an actor. Wanting to become an actor professionally, he enrolled at the University of Kansas as a theatre major. While at school he fell in love with the cinema of the 1960s—Fellini, Godard and Truffaut—and decided he wanted to work behind the camera, creating visuals. As the draft for the Vietnam War approached, Robe avoided it by enrolling in the University of Kansas film school and directed several short films. After graduation he joined the Air Force as a “film officer” and was sent to a technical school to learn about production and different types of film stock. During this time he also directed and produced military propaganda documentaries for the Air Force that were seen throughout the service.
After his time in the Air Force, Robe moved to Hollywood and founded Robe/Ackerman, a production company that specialized in creating political spots, documentaries, and commercials. While owning his own short-form production company, Robe sought for a way to break into mainstream filmmaking and began writing a spec script. A CBS producer optioned it, and though it was never made, he helped Robe obtain a job as a writer for the television movie Between Two Brothers (1982). For the next few years Robe wrote for television, until, in 1984 he wrote the television movie With Intent to Kill, which he was hired on to also direct, and the job lead to a long career of directing both television movies and television series.
His movies for television and mini-series include News at Eleven (1986), Murder Ordained (1987), Guts and Glory: The Rise and Fall of Oliver North (1989), Son of the Morning Star (1991), The Burden of Proof (1992), Return to Lonesome Dove (1993), Degree of Guilt (1995), Summer of Fear (1996), Final Descent (1997), Shake, Rattle and Roll: An American Love Story (1999), Within These Walls (2001), The Junction Boys (2002) Reversible Errors (2004), While I Was Gone (2004), Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King (2006), Montana Sky (2007), Northern Lights (2009), and Innocent (2011), among others. Robe has also directed episodes of the series Matt Houston, Hollywood Beat, Hotel, and Hawthorne. Robe has been nominated for an Outstanding Miniseries Primetime Emmy for Burden of Proof and has served on the DGA’s Television Creative Rights Committee since 2011.