Top 50 Power Showrunners 2011
Katims officially closed the book on Friday Night Lights with a touchdown last month, picking up an Emmy, his first, for writing the NBC/DirecTV drama's series finale and watching underdog Kyle Chandler pull off an upset in the drama actor race. The Brooklyn native says that while he loved the writing on such classic sitcoms as The Odd Couple, his career has drifted toward writing for critically praised (but ratings-challenged) dramas like ABC's My So-Called Life, FNL and NBC's Parenthood, which is enjoying a critically acclaimed third season, steady ratings and a recently announced two-episode extension. Katims, who has used his son's battle with autism as inspiration for one of Parenthood's most compelling story arcs, says he's finally reached a place of peace when it comes to fighting the ratings war. "The bottom line is: If not enough people watch the show, no matter how much critics and fans like it, it won't survive," he says. "We have to accept that's the business we've chosen." Katims, 50, who in the past year directed episodes of FNL and Parenthood, is also developing a hourlong NBC drama with Jason Ritter and staying optimistic about that buzzed-about FNL movie: "It's something we hope will happen."