Top 50 Power Showrunners 2011
"It's madcap, it's weird and kind of 'off,' but it comes from a very sort of decent, guileless place," says Martha Plimpton. The Emmy-nominated lead actress is talking about Garcia's latest offering, Raising Hope, which centers on a young, put-upon dad coping with early fatherhood and a whacked-out family that includes another Emmy nominee in Cloris Leachman. Hope made headlines last winter when it was the first rookie series of the 2010-11 season to get a full 22-episode pickup. Thus far in its second season, viewers have stuck around, with the first two episodes averaging more than 6 million viewers. But Garcia, an alumnus of Maryland's Frostburg State University, didn't begin in television; he started his career in media as a board operator and on-air personality at Washington radio's The Tony Kornheiser Show. The 41-year-old says the full-season renewal offered needed recognition that Hope was clicking. "I'm happy that the show is getting another year," says the Arlington, Va., native, who also created and ran NBC's long-running comedy My Name Is Earl (he won an Emmy for writing the pilot) and co-created Yes, Dear, which aired for six seasons on CBS. "I've been trying to think of a funny quote for the last two hours for this interview, which makes me a little nervous about season two." He needn't be: Pop-culture action icons like Richard Dean Anderson and Lee Majors are lining up for guest appearances.