Wednesday, September 16, 2009

First-time showrunners

In The Hollywood Reporter, Nellie Andreeva talks to showrunners on American TV series about taking on the role for the first time.
While TV series continue to be dominated by "name" showrunners with years spent in the trenches, increasingly networks -- particularly on the cable side -- are rolling the dice with first-time creator-showrunners. The two most-nominated series at this month's Emmys, AMC's "Mad Men" and NBC's "30 Rock," are run by newbies Matthew Weiner and Tina Fey, respectively. Sure, Weiner had deep roots at HBO's "The Sopranos" and Fey ruled NBC's "Saturday Night Live," but they also hadn't run series before.

And they're not alone. This year's drama series Emmy category features a majority of first-time showrunners, including Weiner; Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer (HBO's "Big Love"); Glenn Kessler, Todd Kessler and Daniel Zelman (FX's "Damages"); and Damon Lindelof (who co-runs ABC's "Lost" with veteran Carlton Cuse).
See also the associated special report on showrunners(pdf)

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