TV's Top 50 Showrunners 2010
Even after five years, Franks still considers himself a showrunner by default. "You pitch a show as a writer but as soon as the show starts, it's all about crisis management," he notes. The quirky USA buddy-dramedy was down a bit in ratings this summer but still attracts about 3.6 million viewers and a loyal fan base. The show's detective format also allows Franks the freedom to jump in and out of different genres each week. "This year we did a Kung Fu episode," he boasts. "I had acrobats and stuntmen flying off buildings."
Favorite TV Moment: "The last frame of 'Did You See the Sunset?' the two-part premiere of 'Magnum P.I.'s' third season," he recalls. "Magnum has this bad guy at gunpoint and the guy basically says, 'You don't have the guts to do it.' You see the sunrise and then Magnum pulls the trigger and kills the guy right there and it goes to black. Just talking about it, I get chills."
Big Break: "I worked at Disneyland while I was in college. When I was supposed to be waking up Jose the bird in the Tiki Room, I was in the office writing my first feature script, 'Big Daddy,'" eventually made with Adam Sandler.