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TV's Top 50 Showrunners 2010

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    The Vampire Diaries
    Kevin Williamson & Julie Plec
    "The Vampire Diaries" (CW)

    The "Scream" movie franchise and teen soap "Dawson's Creek" put Williamson on the map in the late 1990s. But co-running a show about vampires in 2010 has proven a totally different beast. "Yes, we are riding the coattails of 'True Blood,' which I love, and 'Twilight,' " he says. "But we are also writing a horror movie, a teen drama, a family story and one about a small town, all in one. And there's a wink-wink to it all, too." Plec, who also has a film background ("Scream 3"), co-ran the ABC Family hit "Kyle XY" before joining Williamson to help the young-skewing CW attract a demo far broader than for its usual fare.

    Favorite TV Moment: "David E. Kelley and 'Picket Fences' made me realize how powerful TV could be," Williamson says.

    Big Break: "I was 24, waiting tables in New York, and [TV director] Paris Barclay needed a new assistant. I stage managed a cabaret for him because I had a theater background and pulled it together lickety-split. He was like, 'Wow!' He got me a job in L.A. after that."

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