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Showrunners: The Art of Running a TV Show (2014)

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A documentary that explores the world of U.S. television showrunners and the creative forces aligned around them.

Director:

Des Doyle

Writer:

Des Doyle

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Documentary

Sequel to Showrunners:The Art Of Running A TV Show (2014)

Director: Des Doyle
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Cast

Credited cast:
J.J. Abrams ... Himself
Kristen Bell ... Herself
David Boreanaz ... Himself
Matthew Carnahan ... Himself
Steven S. DeKnight ... Himself
Emily Deschanel ... Herself
Chris Downey Chris Downey ... Himself
Jane Espenson ... Herself
Hart Hanson ... Himself
Helen Hunt ... Herself
Joshua Jackson ... Himself
Mike Kelley ... Himself
Michelle King Michelle King ... Herself
Robert King Robert King ... Himself
Mark Kubr ... Himself
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Storyline

'Showrunners' is the first ever feature length documentary film to explore the fascinating world of US television showrunners and the creative forces aligned around them. These people are responsible for creating, writing and overseeing every element of production on one of the United State's biggest exports - television drama and comedy series.The film intends to show audiences the huge amount of work that goes into making sure their favorite TV series airs on time as well as the many challenges that showrunners have to overcome to make sure a new series makes it onto the schedules at all! Featuring candid interviews with Showrunners such as J.J. Abrams, Joss Whedon, Bill Prady, Terence Winter, Damon Lindelof, Hart Hanson, Steven S. DeKnight. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Their Vision Is Television


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

Ireland | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 October 2014 (Ireland) See more »

Also Known As:

Showrunners See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,100, 2 November 2014

Gross USA:

$3,100

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,100
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Showrunners has achieved a number of notable firsts for an Irish film. It is the first to ever be screened at both San Diego Comic Con and New York Comic Con and also the first ever to have had panels at both those events. It is also the first ever feature documentary to have been screened by the Television Academy Of America and was in fact the final screening to ever take place at the Academy's prestigious Leonard H.Goldenson Theatre where it had it's LA Premiere on Tuesday the 28th of October 2014. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Write right ... and quickly
30 October 2014 | by ferguson-6See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. It's simultaneously "the best job and the worst job". While not a definition of a TV Showrunner, that is certainly the best description. With the recent renaissance of TV, and the competition between networks, cable and the internet, an incredible level of creativity and freedom has produced a more cinematic effect on the small screen. Whose broad shoulders are responsible for what we watch? The Showrunners, that's who.

This is a behind-the-scenes look at the process of getting a show to air, and then struggling to keep it there … it takes an enormous amount of talent and a ton of good luck. We learn that 84% of new TV shows fail, and it's important to note that good shows often fail – not just bad ones. Director Des Doyle presents an extremely impressive succession of interviews. These are the writers, producers and showrunners of some of TV's most innovative shows: JJ Abrams ("Lost"), Joss Whedon ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer"), Terence Winter ("The Sopranos", "Boardwalk Empire"), and Janet Tamaro ("Rizzoli & Ives") just to name a few. This who's who of showrunners generously share their insight and observations on the business that more than a few call "a grind".

Especially interesting is the concentration on the writing process. We go inside the writer's room and hear discussions on the importance of looking at the entire season, rather than a specific episode. We learn the importance of "quality scripts on time", meaning the writing must be good and must come fast – episodes frequently air within a month of filming. Joss Whedon advises writers to focus on moments, not on moves. Collaboration is crucial, and while nothing beats an actor who embodies a particular role (Michael Chiklis in "The Shield"), never lose sight that writing is the heart of TV shows.

Discussion of the various outlets (networks, cable, internet) leads to an explanation of how TV writing has evolved. Some shows are now designed for the increasingly-popular "binge watching", while network shows are still in the business of "selling ads". Another significant shift is due to Social Media. TV is described as now being like the theatre – immediate feedback is available (Twitter, Facebook). While ratings are still important, interaction between the industry and viewing public is now standard operating procedure.

It's not often we are allowed behind the curtain in the entertainment business, but this one should be mandatory viewing for anyone with an itch to become a TV writer. You should know the stress and insecurities that accompany the talent and ego. You should understand the time pressures and the lack of recognition that often follows even those who prove successful. You should also know that for those who have it in their blood, nothing else compares. This is truly "the art of running a TV show".


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