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TV's Top 50 Showrunners 2010

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    Big Love
    Mark V. Olsen & Will Scheffer
    "Big Love" (HBO)

    A couple for 20 years, Olsen and Scheffer both enjoyed 10-year TV careers before they "could decide to bear writing together," Scheffer says. In 1994, he was chosen for HBO's new writer's project, which led the way to TV movies like "In the Gloaming." He also created the CBS series "Ellis Island" and "Duck Town," and wrote on CBS' political drama "Citizen Baines." Olsen, a former attorney, wrote the HBO miniseries "Mary Chestnut's Civil War" and HBO Films' "Cabrini USA," about the notorious Chicago housing project. In addition to the fifth season of "Big Love," Olsen's play "Cornelia" is in development for Broadway.

    Favorite TV Moment: Scheffer says he is partial to the "Mary Tyler Moore" series finale where the entire cast engaged in a prolonged group hug. "That kind of connection, it can't be faked," he says.

    Big Break: Selling their first project together, "Big Love," while in a pitch meeting at HBO.

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