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Top 50 Power Showrunners 2011

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    Drama
    Craig Silverstein
    Craig Silverstein
    Nikita (CW)

    Silverstein fell into TV like many have before him: by failing to make it in the movies. "But, to be fair, it was a feature spec script that got me my first television job," says Silverstein, who also co-created Fox's big-budget family adventure Terra Nova. In 2000, he landed as a staff writer on Syfy's (then the Sci Fi Channel) The Invisible Man. Silverstein, 36, credits David Levinson, now an executive producer on Nikita, with affording him the opportunity. His quick ascension prepared him for future projects (Standoff, Bones, K-Ville), and a bad pilot experience taught Silverstein to stand by his instincts. When he was approached to develop an update to the Nikita franchise for the CW, he had reservations. "I didn't want this to be Gossip Girl with a gun. She kills people, so I told the CW it had to be dark," he says. Luckily, the network execs agreed. Nikita is settling into its new Friday slot in season two: It's already averaging 2 million viewers and has made a Comic-Con idol out of star Maggie Q.

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