10 Power Showrunners: A Day in the Life, From Carlton Cuse to Jenji Kohan
JEFF and JACKIE SCHAFFER
The League (FXX)
It's a cool, early evening in October, and Jeff Schaffer is sitting beside his partner and wife, Jackie, in their spacious dining room during a rare moment of not working, though you wouldn't know it -- the table is covered with scripts, production schedules and myriad Apple products and chargers. Their 15-month-old daughter, Arwen (named for The Lord of the Rings character), eats her dinner of sweet potatoes, peas and broccoli at the kitchen counter.
It's a rare moment of togetherness for the family as Jeff and Jackie, who generally write and direct every episode of The League, have a much-needed week off from shooting the fantasy-football comedy, though that only means they have more time for editing and location scouting (the latter of which, Jeff says, is "as awful as going on a lot of first dates"). It's the second season the Schaffers have had to balance caring for little Arwen with their series' "street-fight-like" production schedule.
"Last year was much easier," admits Jackie, peeking her head around the corner to see if Arwen has finished eating. "We'd just strap her on our chest and go to set. Now she is ambulatory! Thankfully, she's had her hep C and hep A shots, so it's not as dangerous for her to visit the scary places we shoot in downtown L.A." Arwen will go to bed soon, at which point her parents will leave her in the nanny's care while they return to their offices near their home to edit late into the night. Admits Jackie: "I have this Paranormal Activity-looking nanny-cam thing I watch all day on my iPad -- probably too often." -- S.W.