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TV's Top 50 Showrunners 2010

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    Nurse Jackie
    Liz Brixius & Linda Wallem
    "Nurse Jackie" (Showtime)

    Barely a year into production, the duo is already writing its Emmy-nominated dramedy's third season. The rush for fresh episodes is "a little like guerilla filmmaking," says Brixius, adding that each show is shot in five days. She's the rookie in the pair. Wallem, once half of a comedy team with "Rescue Me" co-showrunner Peter Tolan, broke into the business with "That '80s Show" before landing Edie Falco for her and Brixius' odd hospital dramedy. Fresh off Falco's Emmy win, the duo have relocated their writing team to New York for the third batch of episodes, hoping to keep the stories fresh.

    Favorite TV Moment: "This makes me sound like I'm 80, but my dad won a color TV in a sales contest, and the first time we turned it on, Gilligan was on, wearing a red shirt," Wallem recalls. "It was like, 'This is amazing!' " 

    Big Break: "Ten years ago, Sandra Bullock bought my spec script 'The Sprinkler Queen,' then hired me to write a second script ('Bridesmaids')," Brixius says. "That put me on the map."

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