Top 50 Power Showrunners 2011
Since they first met as writers on Fox's The O.C. in 2003, Schwartz and Savage have made their Fake Empire shingle into one of the industry's most diverse. The pair have three hourlong dramas in varying phases: NBC spy dramedy Chuck (co-created with Chris Fedak), which Schwartz says has allowed him to "fulfill his James Bond obsession" and is in its final season on NBC; the CW's Gossip Girl (exec produced by Josh Safran), which recently kicked off its fifth season; and the rookie fish-out-of-water drama Hart of Dixie (created by Leila Gerstein). With the two established series bolstered by cult followings, Schwartz, 35, feels he's made good on at least one early career goal. "In high school, I couldn't get girls to go out with me because they were so obsessed with Jason Priestley and Luke Perry," he says. "That was powerful. I thought, 'Hopefully one day I will create a show that will make it impossible for somebody else to date in high school.' " Meanwhile, Savage, 42 and raised in Calgary, spent her youth highlighting all the shows in the Sunday program listings her family wanted to watch, even posting a schedule on the TV-room door. "It didn't occur to me until I was in Los Angeles that I could get a job making things for people to watch on television."