TV Upfronts: Meet the Mega-Producers

From the expected (Dick Wolf, Greg Berlanti, Shonda Rhimes) to the new arrivals juggling multiple shows, here's a look at some of the most prolific producers in the Peak TV era.
Getty Images
Dick Wolf, left, Shonda Rhimes and Greg Berlanti

In an era of increased competition from cable and streaming services alike, the broadcast networks continue to turn to experienced producers to steer their new investments. Following a pilot season that again featured loads of familiar IP and spinoffs, the broadcast networks doubled down on proven hit-makers like Shonda Rhimes, Dick Wolf and Greg Berlanti, with a few new faces joining the annual list of mega-producers.

Here's a look at the 2016-17 season's biggest winners, including those who now have multiple series on broadcast and cable. (Last year's overachievers can be found here.)

Dick Wolf (6 scripted, 7 overall)
The Procedural King scored another entry in the Chicago franchise with Chicago Justice joining Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Chicago Med as well as longrunning Law & Order: SVU. Upcoming, he has anthology Law & Order: True Crime and unscripted foray You the Jury.

Mark Gordon (7)
The prolific producer, who recently exited ABC Studios to set up shop at Entertainment One, has two new series on broadcast in Kiefer Sutherland's Designated Survivor and Haley Atwell's Conviction, both at ABC. Those join Grey's Anatomy, Criminal Minds, Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, Quantico andShowtime's Ray Donovan.

Greg Berlanti (6)
The go-to for comic adaptations landed another series on The CW in Archie take Riverdale. Additionally, after CBS lowered the ax on Supergirl, The CW quickly picked it up for a second season. That definitely off-sets NBC's Mysteries of Laura cancellation. Counting DC staples Arrow, The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow, NBC's Blindspot becomes Berlanti's only non-comics-based series.

Shonda Rhimes (5)
Shondaland scored both a new series on ABC in Romeo and Juliet follow-up Still Star-Crossed as well as a surprise renewal for freshman The Catch. They'll join veteran Grey's Anatomy — poised to end the season as ABC's No. 1 drama among 18-49 — the third season of How to Get Away With Murder and the abbreviated 16-episode sixth season of Scandal.

Ryan Murphy (5)
The king of the anthology added another one this season at FX in the star-studded Feud, joining the cabler's American Crime Story, American Horror Story and Fox's returning Scream Queens.

Davis Entertainment (3)
In addition to NBC's The Blacklist and its newly ordered spinoff, The Blacklist: Redemption, John Davis and John Fox's Sony Pictures Television-based Davis Entertainment also scored a series pickup with Shawn Ryan and Eric Kripke drama Timeless, giving them three series on NBC's schedule.

Howard Gordon (3)
Fox parted ways with Second Chance and TNT wrapped Legends, but the Homeland and Tyrant producer gained 24: Legacy at the former for 2016-17, with the network drawing big interest in the Corey Hawkins starrer during its upfront presentation.

Phil Lord and Chris Miller (3)
While the Lego movie and Jump Street producers have a busy film career, their TV plate is starting to runneth over as well. In addition to Fox's Last Man on Earth, the duo also scored series orders at the network for two other high-concept half-hours: Adam Pally vehicle Making History and live-action/animated hybrid Son of Zorn.

Mike Schur (3)
The Parks and Recreation grad is back at NBC with straight-to-series comedy The Good Place joining Fox's Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Netflix's Master of None.

Lee Daniels (2)
The Empire co-creator is adding a second series to his résumé with Fox's Star, a before-they-were-stars look at an all-girl group in Atlanta.

Tina Fey/Robert Carlock (2)
The 30 Rock duo had one of their two pilots go to series with NBC's Great News joining Netflix's Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

Dan Fogelman (2)
Fogelman had a rollercoaster upfronts. While he said farewell to Galavant and Grandfathered, he scored series pickups at Fox for baseball drama Pitch and NBC for dramedy This Is Us, whose trailer is already setting viewing records.

Adam F. Goldberg (2)
In addition to ABC's 1980-something comedy staple The Goldberg, the Sony Pictures TV-based showrunner also scored a series pickup at the Disney network for Imaginary Mary, a high-concept comedy starring Jenna Elfman.

Jason Katims (2)
The Parenthood alum returns to the list thanks to CBS' redeveloped Silicon Valley medical drama Pure Genius. That joins Hulu's already renewed cult drama The Path as Katims preps pilots for Showtime and HBO.

Peter Lenkov (2)
The Hawaii Five-0 boss was brought in to redevelop CBS' MacGyver adaptation, which will be reworked for the third time since its pilot order late last year as CBS and its sibling studio remains committed to breathing new life into the title.

Matt Miller (2)
A year after ABC's surprising cancellation of Forever, the showrunner is back with two high-profile new series: Fox's Lethal Weapon re-do and NBC legal spoof Trial and Error.

Shawn Ryan and Eric Kripke (2 each)
With Timeless, the former now juggles two series (in addition to Netflix's upcoming hip-hop entry The Get Down) and the latter also exec produces The CW staple Supernatural.

Other notable over-achievers include Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly (CBS' Elementary, The Odd Couple and newbie Doubt, Showtime's Masters of Sex); and Carlton Cuse (A&E's Bates Motel, FX's The Strain, USA's Colony, Amazon's Jack Ryan). Also worth inclusion are other prolific producers who are juggling multiple shows on broadcast/cable who either didn't develop new material or saw their numbers decline. They include Chuck Lorre (who said farewell to Mike and Molly but still has Big Bang Theory and Mom); and Team NCIS' Shane Brennan and Gary Glasberg (stable with three).

Keep up with all the renewals, cancellations and new series pickups with THR's handy scorecard and follow the pilot crop status here. For full upfronts 2016 coverage, go to THR.com/upfronts.

 

 

comments powered by Disqus