Monday, November 03, 2008

US showrunners' power increases

In The Hollywood Reporter, James Hibberd argues that since the US Writers strike, which ended in Feburay, showrunning writers on American TV series have become increasingly powerful.
Studios still largely see showrunners as another form of employee. But the clout on display during the strike evidences a recent subtle shift in television. Once anonymous workmen leading their writing staffs, showrunners increasingly have become CEOs of their creative product, showered with accolades when the shows do well but forced to deal with challenges like budget crunches and the industry-wide concerns over falling ratings and the slowing ad market.

Tim Kring, creator and showrunner of NBC's "Heroes," says he acts as a "brand manager and spokesman" for his show.

"It's such a nice phrase, and nobody knows what the hell it means," says David Wild, author of "The Showrunners: A Season Inside the Billion-Dollar, Death-Defying, Madcap World of Television's Real Stars." "They're the quarterback and the head coach, the person calling the shots. Usually it's a writer who is the creative and general force behind any show. But there are nonwriting showrunners. The irony is there's a built-in conflict: If you're coming up from the ranks of writing, you celebrate creativity unbound, and it seems the real showrunners are the ones who have that creative spirit -- but with organizational skills."

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.