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TV's Top 50 Showrunners 2010

The most influential TV showrunners in Hollywood.


Selections for The Hollywood Reporter’s third annual list of the top TV showrunners are based on the following criteria:

1. Direct responsibility for the day-to-day creative output of a scripted TV showcurrently on theair or debuting in the fall.

2. How prolific the showrunner is; those with more than one series on the air are more likely to be included. Writer-producers with a show debuting in the fall are included only if they created or ran a previous hit series.

3. Nielsen ratings, especially relative to other shows on the same network.

4. Emmy attention and/or critical praise.

5. Reputation among studio and network executives for professionalism and delivering high-quality and high-rated TV.

The Godfathers: Not included on the list but just as influential are major executive producers like J.J. Abrams (Fox’s Fringe and NBC’s Undercovers), Jerry Bruckheimer (CBS’ CSI franchise and Cold Case and NBC’s Chase), John Wells (TNT’s Southland and Showtime’s Shameless), Dick Wolf (the Law & Order franchise) and Anthony Zuiker (CSI). They impact TV as much as anyone on the Showrunners list.

A - G
  1. Neal Baer & Rene Balcer

    "Law & Order: SVU," "Law & Order: Los Angeles" (NBC)read more

  2. Alan Ball

    "True Blood" (HBO) read more

  3. Carter Bays & Craig Thomas

    "How I Met Your Mother" (CBS)read more

  4. Ed Bernero

    "Criminal Minds" (CBS)read more

  5. Shane Brennan

    "NCIS," "NCIS: Los Angeles" (CBS)read more

  6. Liz Brixius & Linda Wallem

    "Nurse Jackie" (Showtime)read more

  7. Glenn Gordon Caron

    "Medium" (CBS)read more

  8. Marc Cherry

    "Desperate Housewives" (ABC)read more

  9. Greg Daniels, Paul Liebersteinm & Mike Schur

    "The Office," "Parks and Recreation" (NBC)read more

  10. Steven S. DeKnight

    "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" (Starz)read more

  11. James Duff

    "The Closer" (TNT)read more

  12. Jeff Eastin

    "White Collar" (USA)read more

  13. Doug Ellin

    "Entourage" (HBO)read more

  14. Tina Fey & Robert Carlock

    "30 Rock" (NBC)read more

  15. Steve Franks

    "Psych" (USA)read more

  16. Vince Gilligan

    "Breaking Bad" (AMC)read more

  17. Greg Garcia

    "Raising Hope" (Fox)read more

  18. Dan Harmon

    "Community" (NBC)read more

  19. Bruno Heller

    "The Mentalist" (CBS)read more

  20. Mitch Hurwitz

    "Running Wilde" (Fox)read more