How to get the top job in TV: showrunner

Speaking of articles originally posted elsewhere, this look into how to become a TV showrunner is one of the best:


by Jethro Nededog

One of the most coveted jobs in television is that of the showrunner, but the career path to that gig isn’t always clear-cut.

In short, a showrunner is the top dog on a TV show. He or she is responsible for approving everything from casting to scripts, from budgets to set designs. All the while, the showrunner has to protect the creative vision for the show.

“You have to be an advocate for the creative aspect of the show, and that’s harder than it looks sometimes, especially when I have to sign the budget every week,” veteran showrunner Remi Aubuchon recently told Business Insider. (Aubuchon has written or produced on “Caprica,” “Falling Skies,” “Powers,” and “24.”)

Typically, showrunners are writers who have worked themselves up the ladder in writers’ rooms for several television shows (that’s a whole other “how to” article). Julie Rottenberg — whose writing and producing credits include “Sex and the City,” “SMASH,” and “Love Bites” — is a first-time co-showrunner on Bravo comedy “Odd Mom Out.” Rottenberg understands what it takes to get the job.

“For so long, we were writers on shows or producers, writer/producers on a number of shows,” Rottenberg said. “And I realized comparing that to being a showrunner is basically like babysitting versus parenting. Because suddenly the baby is yours, you can’t just leave at six o’clock when it’s time. And you’re pretty much responsible for every aspect of the show.”

Childhood friends Julie Rottenberg, left, and Elisa Zuritsky serve as co-showrunners on Bravo’s “Odd Mom Out.” Andy Kropa/Invision/AP

You might believe that if you create a great show, write a killer pilot script, and then get your show bought at a network, then you’ve earned the right to be its showrunner. The truth is that many show creators don’t end up running their own shows. In some cases, the show creator has very little day-to-day involvement in their own show….

Read it all at Business Insider