His film credits include Mistress Winterbourne and The Fan, both released in 1996. Phoef — the nickname that he uses professionally — is pronounced "feef".
A 1981 graduate of James Madison University, Sutton began his career writing scripts for Newhart.
He later became executive producer of and a writer for Cheers. He collaborated with Bob Newhart again on the 1992 television series Bob and worked as a creative consultant on 90s television series Almost Perfect and NewsRadio.
With Mark Jordan Legan he wrote and produced the cult comedy series "Thanks" about the Pilgrims" first years in America. He was also the showrunner and producer for the National Broadcasting Company series "The Fighting Fitzgeralds." In 1999, he published the novel Always Six O"Clock.
In 2012 he published the novel "The Dead Manitoba: The Midnight Special" and "The Dead Manitoba: Reborn." In May 2015, his novel "Fifteen Minutes to Live." was published by Brash Books.
His novel "Crush" was released in July 2015, shortly after Janet Evanovich"s "Wicked Charms," which he co-authored. From 2005 to 2009, Sutton was a consulting producer for Boston Legal. In 2010, Sutton became a staff writer on the Forex series Terriers starring Donal Logue.
He was recently a writer and consulting producer on the Rob Schneider sitcom Rob, and a showrunner and writer for the television Land original sitcom The Soul Manitoba
He is currently a consulting producer for the SyFy Channel series "Defiance." He is an adviser to the American Shakespeare Center.