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The Hollywood Reporter Names the 50 Power Showrunners of 2013

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THR's annual list of TV's top writer-producers reveals the latest swings in the revolving door of who's on top -- and what it takes to stay there.

Jessica Chou

This story first appeared in the Oct. 25 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. 

After another 12 months of business that saw more headline-grabbing showrunner exits (The Walking Dead’s Glen Mazzara) and audacious debuts (House of CardsBeau Willimon), THR editors and reporters were intrigued once again to answer the question: What really goes into being the CEOs and creative chiefs of TV’s hottest series? Is it balancing multiple writers rooms in a single afternoon? (Yep.) Is it managing the marketing identity of a series, including even the branded Legos? (Uh-huh.) Is it surviving a shooting schedule that can make a Friday so long, one is inspired to create a new day of the week. (Indeed, that would be “Fraturday,” courtesy of first-time showrunner Willimon.) The most influential brains in the business reveal once again that showrunning TV’s biggest series is an occupation both defined by — and dependent on — a near-maniacal commitment to their crafts.


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  1. Team J.J. Abrams

    Jonathan Nolan and Greg Plageman, Person of Interest (CBS); Eric Krip...read more

  2. Ann Biderman

    Ray Donovan (Showtime)read more

  3. Neal Baer

    Under the Dome (CBS)read more

  4. Team Greg Berlanti

    Andrew Kreisberg and Marc Guggenheim, Arrow; Phil Klemmer, The Tomorr...read more

  5. Marc Cherry

    Devious Maids (Lifetime)read more

  6. Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin

    Bates Motel (A&E)read more

  7. Rob Doherty

    Elementary (CBS)read more

  8. James Duff

    Major Crimes (TNT)read more

  9. Julian Fellowes and Gareth Neame

    Downton Abbey (PBS/Masterpiece)read more

  10. Hart Hanson and Stephen Nathan

    Bones (Fox)read more

  11. Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon

    Homeland (Showtime)read more

  12. Vince Gilligan

    Breaking Bad (AMC)read more

  13. Scott M. Gimple

    The Walking Dead (AMC)read more

  14. Gary Glasberg and Shane Brennan

    NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS)read more

  15. Oliver Goldstick and Marlene King

    Pretty Little Liars (ABC Family)read more

  16. Bruno Heller

    The Mentalist (CBS)read more

  17. Michael Hirst

    Vikings (History)read more

  18. Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis

    Once Upon a Time, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland (ABC)read more

  19. Michelle and Robert King

    The Good Wife (CBS)read more

  20. Aaron Korsh

    Suits (USA)read more

  21. Carol Mendelsohn and Don McGill

    CSI (CBS)read more

  22. Steven Moffat

    Doctor Who (BBC)read more

  23. Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk

    Glee (Fox), American Horror Story: Coven (FX)read more

  24. Julie Plec

    The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, The Tomorrow People (The CW)read more

  25. Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers

    Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal (ABC)read more

  26. Aaron Sorkin

    The Newsroom (HBO)read more

  27. Kurt Sutter

    Sons of Anarchy (FX)read more

  28. Matthew Weiner

    Mad Men (AMC)read more

  29. D.B. Weiss and David Benioff

    Game of Thrones (HBO)read more

  30. Kevin Williamson

    The Following (Fox)read more

  31. Beau Willimon

    House of Cards (Netflix)read more

  32. Terence Winter

    Boardwalk Empire (HBO)read more

  33. Team Dick Wolf

    Warren Leight, Law & Order: SVU (NBC); and Matt Olmstead, Chicago Fir...read more

  34. Team Graham Yost

    Justified (FX); with Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields, The Americans (FX)read more

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