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TV's Top 50 Showrunners 2010

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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.

H - N
  1. Brenda Hampton

    "The Secret Life of the American Teenager" (ABC Family)read more

  2. Hart Hanson

    "Bones" (Fox)read more

  3. Al Jean

    "The Simpsons" (Fox)read more

  4. Chip Johannessen

    "Dexter" (Showtime)read more

  5. Jason Katims

    "Friday Night Lights" (DirecTV/NBC), "Parenthood" (NBC)read more

  6. Daniel Zelman, Todd A. Kessler & Glenn Kessler

    "Damages" (DirecTV)read more

  7. Michelle King & Robert King

    "The Good Wife" (CBS)read more

  8. David Kohan & Max Mutchnick

    "$#*! My Dad Says" (CBS)read more

  9. Steven Levitan & Christopher Lloyd

    "Modern Family" (ABC) read more

  10. Jenji Kohan

    "Weeds" (Showtime)read more

  11. Bill Lawrence

    "Cougar Town" (ABC)read more

  12. Chuck Lorre

    "Two and a Half Men," "The Big Bang Theory," "Mike & Molly" (CBS)read more

  13. Seth MacFarlane

    "Family Guy," "American Dad," "The Cleveland Show" (Fox)read more

  14. Jeff Melvoin

    "Army Wives" (Lifetime)read more

  15. Ryan Murphy

    "Glee" (Fox)read more

  16. Carol Mendelsohn, Ann Donahue and Pam Veasey

    "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," "CSI: Miami," "CSI: New York" (CBS)read more

  17. Matt Nix

    "Burn Notice" (USA), "The Good Guys" (Fox)read more

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