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Top 50 Power Showrunners 2011

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

    The CW has doubled-down on Williamson on Thursday nights, pairing his witchy freshman soap The Secret Circle with The Vampire Diaries, which in its third season has become one of the network's biggest scripted hits. The series inhabit their own universes -- though each boasts rabid online fan bases -- forcing Williamson, 46, to test his showrunner mettle. "I've never really understood it," he admits. "There's no set of rules on how to run a show or make TV." The creator of the Scream film franchise and Dawson's Creek jokes that his parents "pushed him out" of the rural North Carolina town he grew up in to encourage his Hollywood aspirations. Now with a serial-killer drama in development at Fox, he must lean increasingly on Diaries' co-showrunner Plec, 39, whom he dubs his unofficial "life partner." Jokes Plec: "Kevin and I have a highly functional dysfunctional system."

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