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What the hell is a "showrunner"?

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Traditionally, the executive producer of a television program was the chief executive, responsible for the show's creative direction and production. Over time, the title of executive producer was applied to a wider range of roles—from someone who arranges financing to an "angel" who holds the title as an honorific with no management duties in return for providing backing capital. The term showrunner was created to identify the producer who holds ultimate management and creative authority for the program. The blog and book Crafty Screenwriting defines a showrunner as "the person responsible for all creative aspects of the show and responsible only to the network (and production company, if it's not [their] production company). The boss. Usually a writer.


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1 hour ago, Emperor Diocletian II said:


I still don't understand  that concept, nor do I care to.

It's basically the head writer who also acts as the head producer on a given show. It's literally the person who runs the writer's room and acts as the liason between the the studio and the production. Sometimes the creator of a show or property may not have enough experience for the studio to be comfortable with giving them a show but they may like the concept. One of the first things a production company will do if they have a show like this is look for an experienced showrunner that will both satisfy the studio and work well enough with the production company and the creator of the show. Like Robert Kirkman may have created The Walking Dead but he has not been the Showrunner. Same with George RR Martin. The heirarchy is different for different shows but that's the way it usually works. One of my good friends just closed a deal with a major streamer today to write a pilot based on a pitch he sold them. If they order a pilot based on the script he writes, he probably would NOT be the showrunner despite having created the show. OR they may pair him up with someone who is a little more experienced and he would be a "co-showrunner". That's pretty much what it is.

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57 minutes ago, CastlevaniaNut18 said:

Oh, bull. You seemed to have no problem understanding the concept when it was explained to you, you just didn't like the actual name for it. I remember discussing it with you.

I don't get the problem with the name... you're literally "Running a show". I don't think a name could be more on the nose.

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