SHOWRUNNERS: THE ART OF RUNNING A TV SHOW (written and directed by Des Doyle, shown below), which defines the term upfront before the movie begins, the word -- which is a relatively newly-coined one -- offers "an industry term describing the person and/or persons responsible for overseeing all areas of writing and production on a television series and ensuring that each episode is delivered on time and on budget for both the studio that produces the show and the network that airs it." OK: Fair enough.
Matthew Carnahan (above, of House of Lies and Dirt) gets a lot of screen time, and he proves worth it, as he is smart and funny and seeming pretty honest. He turns out to have been a protégée of Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman. "They didn’t want any of their protégées moving to Hollywood and working out of TV. But of course nearly all of us did." Also along for the ride is actor Anthony LaPaglia, who has some funny things to say about actors reacting to these writers/producers (and vice versa).
Bones -- sound like soap operas, you'll realize once again why, for all their "pushing the envelope," it's often the tried and true that brings home the bacon. Popular showrunner Joss Whedon explains why he will protect “moments’ at all costs but give up a good “move” in a heartbeat: “A move is ‘Oh my god, it was his evil twin!’ which gives you nothing. A moment is that something relatable that all of us have gone through and that you can mine in regard to the evil twin: that’s your moment.”
Les Moonves story, but come on now, he can't really be that dumb...?!
Mike Kelley of Revenge says some smart things (some of it funny and knowingly hypocritical) about ratings and how and if one should even pay attention to them. Interestingly, this job, while too good to quit, is also too hard to do. "Almost all showrunners stop in their 50s," we're told. "It’s just too much." On that subject, Josh Whedon (below) talks about having to run three shows simultaneously. Actor Jason O’Mara (Terra Nova, The Good Wife) explains his theory about the actor being the guardian of the character, and one of the showrunners gives a smart timeline for how, eventually, the actor finally controls the character.
Ali Le Roi (Are We There Yet?), who admits, "Sure the white suits think I’m going to bring in the colored audience. But really, I would just like a shot at bringing in 'the audience'." here comes the importance of ComicCon (for some shows), how smart content is now appearing on The Web, and -- oh, yes -- failures, too, as J.J. Abrams and others confront their own. "Even showrunners on the successful shows," one points out, "sometimes leave -- or are asked to....
Paging Ms Rebeck!
Arena Cinema has now opened in New York City this past Thursday and will continue through this coming Wednesday, April 29, at the Maysles Cinema. Click the link above for further information and then click on the particular date you want to procure tickets. (Note: If you can't get to the Maysles, the movie is now available via Netflix streaming.)