Ken Levine’s Advice for New Showrunners

The Great Ken Levine gives us the most helpful advice any first-time show runner could ever want. Dunno about you, but this TVWriter™ minion is constantly finding herself grateful for Ken’s wit, wisdom, and – don’t tell him – his very existence.

by Ken Levine

Here’s some advice for first-time show runners.  Not that anyone asked….

1. Communicating with your staff. It’s not enough to have your vision for the show; you need to clearly share it with your other writers. Don’t just assume. It’ll be hard enough for them without trying to figure out what’s in your head. Same is true with your editor and directors.

2. Be very organized. Time will go by much faster than you think. From day one lay out a plan. You want so many outlines by this date, so many first drafts by that date, etc.

3. Don’t squander that period before production begins. It’s easy to knock off early or move meetings back. But this is golden time before the crunch when actors arrive, cameras roll, and a thousand additional details require your attention.

4. Accept the fact that the first draft of the first script you receive from every staff member will look like a script from the last show they were on. It will take them time to adapt to your show.

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