Top 50 Power Showrunners 2011
Winter lasted eight long months in the small town outside Montreal where the TV-obsessed Lenkov spent his youth. But the Emmy-nominated writer would still make the trek home from school at lunch just to watch The Flintstones -- and then, after school, catch a marathon of episodes of his favorite dramas Magnum, P.I. and Hawaii Five-0. In fact, it was the episode in which Magnum confronted and killed the person who'd held him as a POW that inspired Lenkov to start writing. "I'd never seen an episode like that," says Lenkov, 45. "I realized it was possible to take someone on an emotional journey in a short period of time." Limited writing opportunities in Montreal, where he studied political science at McGill and later at Concordia, led Lenkov to a screenwriting course at UCLA. That spawned a career as a film producer and comic-book writer -- his R.I.P.D. is being adapted for the big screen with Ryan Reynolds -- and, in a full-circle twist of fate, as the force behind CBS' Five-0 reboot, which in its second season is averaging nearly 12 million viewers. "My dad watched for 12 years straight," says Lenkov, whose other credits include CSI: NY and USA's La Femme Nikita. "Doing the new Hawaii was so striking emotionally because it'd been so important to him."