23 Top Showrunners Tell All

We didn’t know there were 23 top showrunners, but here they are, in all their too cool for school glory:


by Lacey Rose

If these top showrunners were running their networks instead of their shows, what would their first move be? And how about if it were these guys (and gals) who got a shot at writing the finale episode of Mad Men as opposed to creator Matthew Weiner? We asked these and many more questions of the masterminds behind such hits as Scandal, Empire, Modern Family, Arrow and more in THR‘s third annual showrunner survey. Below are a collection of their honest, comical and, at times, biting responses.

Live tweeting is …

GOLDBERG An amazing way to engage with the fans.

GORDON Something I’ve been told I should do.

KITSIS A great way to remind yourself you’re not as cool as you thought you were.

NOWALK Fun until you come across a comment, or 50, that make it clear the audience hates something you wrote months ago and have no way to fix. That’s when I drink.

RIDLEY Not something that should be done live.

LLOYD Ingenious, Twitter being the chief modern-day manner by which people persuade themselves that they matter. Their every thought and feeling is essential reading to thousands of followers (sometimes live!), with no accounting for how many people actually consume these precious notings. Twenty years ago there wasn’t a comedy writer alive who wasn’t consumed byLarry King‘s USA Today column wherein he rewrote the record book for banal musings; it was glorious because it was so excruciatingly self-involved. Now half those writers have Twitter accounts. (In a too predictable footnote, Larry King recently opened his own account. Last week he let it be known that he has literally never been on a roller coaster.)

HARMON Like most things, dumb now that the grown- ups are doing it.

The one idea I’m still mad the network won’t let me do is …

BARRIS Police brutality.

SOLOWAY Send stuff free the next day.

NOXON My musical version of The Black Dahlia.

URMAN I don’t know about “mad,” but I’m bummed I couldn’t do a whimsical little incest story.

HARMON Well, you know. My show and stuff.

If I could steal a character from any TV series currently on the air for my show, I’d take …

CUSE Dinesh and Gilfoyle from Silicon Valley. Put ’em in The Strain, throw a couple of vampires at them. No matter what happens, it’s awesome.

SOLOWAY Brian Williams.

HOROWITZ Saul Goodman/Jimmy McGill from Better Call Saul. I think he’d do an excellent job hammering out all the complexities of Rumpelstiltskin’s deals — and after dealing with Tuco, he certainly wouldn’t be intimidated.

KHAN Abbi and Ilana from Broad City. They would have a bad drug trip, go back in time and find themselves as twin sisters in the Huang family. The actual story once they were there would be to convince Jessica to let them get bunk beds.

BERLANTI Easy one: Daredevil. DC-Marvel mashup!

MOORE Peter Campbell from Mad Men. Watching him getting lost in 18th century Scotland would be great.

My cure for writer’s block is …

GORDON Denial.

MOORE A paycheck.

PLEC A deadline. I’m a co-dependent people pleaser.

RHIMES My cure for almost anything is sleeping.


MESSER Repeats of 30 Rock.

BERLANTI Hot yoga and going to see a (good) movie.

WEINER A 20-minute nap. Anywhere.

LLOYD Vigorous sweating, or drinking, or sex, or crying; as with any complicated engine, maintenance of proper fluid levels seems to be essential.

Read it all at Hollywood Reporter