Top 50 Power Showrunners 2011
When she started as an undergrad at Columbia University, the Toronto-born, Ohio-raised Sud set out to become the next great American writer, but admits, "I was 18 and didn't know shit." So she studied political science and women's studies, freelanced, studied film at NYU and eventually landed as a writer/executive producer on CBS' Cold Case. But it was her "worst" job -- directing on The Real World in 1992 -- that most impacted her craft. "I spent five months baby-sitting drunk, hysterical 20-year-olds in Cabo San Lucas in a hurricane," says Sud, 44. "But you could watch human nature unfold for a very long shift." After running Cold Case for two years, Sud embarked on The Killing, the daunting adaptation of the dark Danish series Forbrydelsen (The Crime) for AMC. Its April 3 bow was AMC's second-highest series debut (after The Walking Dead), and her Emmy-nominated star Mireille Enos as detective Sarah Linden became cable's most intriguing new face. Even haters of Sud's controversial red-herring finale are apt to tune in for the second season, set to begin in the spring.