TV’s Top Showrunners Talk Deleted Scenes, Network Censorship, More

Just the kind of discussion new (and old) TV writers are looking for, courtesy of the intrepid reporters of the Hollywood Reporter.

meriwether_harmon_sorkin_a_lby Lacey Rose & Stacy Wilson

How I Met Your Mother‘s Carter Bays is still mourning the loss of Goodwin GamesNew Girl’Liz Meriwether is coming clean about the do’s and don’ts of “vagina” talk. And Community‘s reinstalled showrunner Dan Harmon is simply relieved security let him back on the lot.

Below, 13 top showrunners from this year’s Power List offer candid responses about scrapped plans, debates in their writers room and the thing they wish they knew before becoming a showrunner.

Before I became a showrunner, I wish someone had warned me about …

Beau Willimon (House of Cards): Fraturday — when a night shoot on Friday night continues until Saturday morning. Think long weekend, but the opposite of that.

Aaron Sorkin (Newsroom): Having to write a second episode after the pilot.

Liz Meriwether (New Girl): All the sleep I would get! It’s almost too much sleep!

Christopher Lloyd (Modern Family): Executives and notes. I’m often reminded of a story about Marvin Gaye. In his prime, he was a big strong guy, who fancied himself a decent boxer. One day he met this heavyweight fighter (not a champion, but a contender) and told him he wanted to spar with him. They made the date and Marvin Gaye came in kind of cocky, sure he was going to beat this guy, demanding that the guy not go easy on him, and … the guy kind of beat him up. Afterward, a reporter who had observed the whole thing asked the boxer why he’d done so and he said, “This is what I do all day long. This is all I’ve ever done. How could he disrespect me like that? This ring is my office.”

Dan Harmon (Community): Capitalism.

Mara Brock Akil (The Game): The hair and makeup department! There should be a whole course on how to negotiate that!

Betsy Beers (Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal) Keeping up with a network episodic schedule. The pace takes your breath away — especially when you first start out — and living at the office becomes the new normal. Oh, and the constant and endless supply of sugary food groups at said office. Beware …

The most memorable debate in our writers room this past year was …

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