Hollywood Reporter’s 2013 Comedy Showrunner Roundtable

11 Jun

The Emmy nominations will be announced on July 18 and so the roundtables featuring potential recipients continue. While there are too many to cover here at TV Ate My Wardrobe we want to focus on the ones that provoke both entertaining and interesting discussions and the comedy showrunner table has done just this. This Hollywood Reporter panel includes both network and cable faces; Mike Schur (Parks and Recreation), Greg Daniels (The Office), Liz Meriwether (New Girl), Steve Molaro (The Big Bang Theory), Matthew Carnahan (House of Lies) and Bruce Helford (Anger Management).

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A large portion of the conversation focuses on the evolving business model of television and how the ratings system still hasn’t caught up with the way that audiences consume their favorite shows (it is mentioned several times that New Girl is a big DVR ratings performer). They discuss past and present success stories on network television with Seinfeld as an example of a show that didn’t fit the broad cookie cutter type sitcom and while most of the shows represented have relatively low numbers, Steve Molaro is the showrunner on The Big Bang Theory which is the highest rated sitcom at the moment. NBC has been the focus of a lot of the sitcom ratings think pieces because it used to be the sitcom powerhouse and now it languishes behind everyone else. Mike Schur makes the point that cable networks have a specific brand and can tailor their programming to this, whereas networks have a responsibility to have broad appeal.

Schur also points out that there is too much to watch “I’m going to die from starvation because I have too much TV to watch! Wherever you are in the world, and whatever kind of person you are, there’s 50 shows that are great for you.” This echoes what Alan Sepinwall said in a recent piece and was a topic of discussion in a recent roundtable discussion that I took part in (and I have so many shows to catch up on with ScandalGame of Thrones and Orphan Black being just three of them).

Other topics include product placement (Liz Meriwether has regrets), studio notes and the ways they get around these, the big Nick and Jess decision (others weigh in on their experiences of ‘with they/won’t they’ couples) and how the dramatic aspects of half hour shows make award classification a tricky task.

Watch the full roundtable below and for anyone who is interested in how the creative departments deal with the business side it’s totally worth it.

Image courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter 

One Response to “Hollywood Reporter’s 2013 Comedy Showrunner Roundtable”

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  1. Out of the Box: Look of the Week | TV Ate My Wardrobe - June 14, 2013

    […] been a week of several award shows and more Emmy related roundtable discussions and some of these have already been covered here at TV Ate My Wardrobe and feature fantastic […]

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