TV's Top 50 Showrunners 2010
The "Law & Order" mothership has gone to cancellation heaven and "Criminal Intent" might be on life support, but "SVU" chugs into its 12th season with the longest-running paired characters on TV, "second only to Ozzie and Harriet," Baer notes. Meanwhile, former "L&O" showrunner Balcer jumped coasts for the next franchise entry, which NBC is giving its A-list promo campaign in the fall. Balcer brought in "L&O" veteran Chris Misiano as a producing partner but admits to struggling a bit to find locations around the City of Angels. "In New York, it's easy to get five to six locations within walking distance of each other, so you can shoot on location efficiently," Balcer says. "In L.A., the only thing within walking distance of anything is your car."
Favorite TV Moment: "My 10th birthday was on Feb. 9, 1964," Balcer recalls. "Ed Sullivan gave me the best present a kid could ever have: The debut of the Beatles on North American television. I sat there and ate my birthday cake and just watched the Beatles."
Big Break: "It came from the same person, twice: John Wells," Baer says. "I grew up with him in Denver, and he gave me a job at 'China Beach.' Then I went to medical school, and he sent me a script for 'ER' and asked me to consult for a few months. I stayed seven years."