Speaking of Showrunning - Macleans.ca

Speaking of Showrunning


There’s not a lot I can add to this: Ken Levine has written a list of tips for first-time TV showrunners. They largely centre on the things showrunners can do to keep morale up – their own, and the writing staff’s. An example of something that’s not good for staff morale: the practice I’ve heard referred to as “credit-hopping.”

A good way to completely destroy any morale is to automatically put your name on every script and share credit with every writer. You may win in arbitration but you lose your troops. The trade off is not worth it. You’re getting paid more money than anybody already. Let your writers receive full credit and residuals.

I don’t think he’s referring to one particular show; Matt Weiner on Mad Men is currently known for putting his name on most scripts, but he’s hardly the only one. Another example would be Robert and Michelle King, who took a “teleplay by” credit on most Good Wife episodes last season (with the writer of, I presume, the first draft getting a “story by” credit). These systems seem to work for those particular shows. But they can backfire on other shows because it leads to a lot of staff turnover. Hands-on showrunners who let the original writer keep his or her full credit, even after a complete rewrite, may find it easier to keep good writers on staff for a long time.

Filed under: