Showrunners have a huge impact on television shows and how everything happens, hence the name showrunner. In fact, a showrunner outranks the television show director in all respects. What does a showrunner do? That is a good question! An article in The Hollywood Reporter The Top 50 Showrunners of 2012 gives a great breakdown of what the best showrunners do, and how their strategies lead to some of the best shows on television!
The Hollywood Reporter article discusses how a showrunner has direct responsibility for the day-to-day creative output of a scripted TV show that has aired for at least one full season. The showrunner also has to think about the show’s Nielsen ratings, especially relative to other shows on the same network, and to Emmy attention and critical praise.
The New Girl airs on FOX on Tuesday’s at 8pm. The showrunners discussed changes in casting, beginning with the pilot episode. In the pilot, there was a character named Coach who was the third roommate. In the next episode, however, he was replaced by a new character named Winston. The show changed as a result.
For the AMC hit The Walking Dead, a previous showrunner, Glen Marazza, wanted to make some major changes to the show, by killing off the infant child of a main character. The network did not like that idea, nor did the show’s producers, and he was soon released from the show. The new showrunner Scott Gimple, has done a great job in pleasing the network, the producers and the audience, which continues to grow.
Showrunners are literally running the show. They take care of all aspects of the show and work to make that show successful. What are your favorite shows, and what do you know about who’s actually running the show?
– Sammy Kaster