10 Power Showrunners: A Day in the Life, From Carlton Cuse to Jenji Kohan

10:00 AM PST 10/16/2013 by Edited by Stacey Wilson
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Jessica Chou
Ann Biderman

A voyeur's look through the bleary eyes of TV's busiest movers and shakers -- Ann Biderman, Jason Katims, Hart Hanson and Stephen Nathan, Scott M. Gimple, Armando Iannucci, Greg Berlanti, Kerry Ehrin, Jeff and Jackie Schaffer and Terence Winter.

These stories first appeared in the Oct. 25 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

ANN BIDERMAN

Ray Donovan (Showtime)

With the early-fall sun piercing the windows of her scenic home office, Biderman reclines on her custom-made couch ("It's comfy but not too soft," she says) and digs into her morning's biggest to-do: Plowing through dozens of scripts in the hope of finding two new voices to add to her five-person writing team. "I don't want to read sample scripts for Ray," she says, flipping through one quickly and making notes with her pencil. "I want to read original material. I need to know their personal voices because I cast the writers room as carefully as I do the series."

Biderman, 62, is enjoying the peace of working solo inside her rustic 1940s home in L.A.'s Laurel Canyon while she can as she preps to return to the writers room for season two of Ray Donovan, the Showtime drama she created that stars Liev Schreiber as a clandestine Hollywood fixer. Today, in between binge-reading scripts and consulting with her assistant Alex, she fields e-mails from her fellow writers and Showtime execs about the sophomore season.

"I know solitude well, having spent so many years as a screenwriter," says Biderman of writing such films as Primal Fear and Public Enemies. "That's why I enjoy the conviviality of the writers room experience. I can't wait to get back in there." A few moments pass as she ponders both what she's looking for in new blood -- and what she isn't. "The minute I read 'handsome CIA agent,' I throw the script across the room," she says, laughing. "This process really is like sifting for gold." -- STACEY WILSON

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