'The Leftovers' Creator Damon Lindelof on the Writers Room: "I Need to Know This Is Good"

"'The Leftovers' was built in a very white, sort of suburban enclave and had what I would affectionately refer to as 'white people problems.'"

"I think there's something very interesting about our jobs," said Damon Lindelof (The Leftovers) during The Hollywood Reporter's Drama Showrunner Roundtable. "I consider myself a writer. That's what I feel like. And I became a producer as a result of that."

He also opened up about his inherent need to be liked by everyone. "I am also emotionally attuned to this idea of feeling like I need to have this unanimous agreement amongst my creative collaborators that an idea is great.

"In the writers room I constantly feel like I have to convince them all," explained the HBO showrunner. "I need to know this is good."

Lindelof went on to discuss the role race played both previously and currently in his drama. "The Leftovers was built in a very white, sort of suburban enclave and had what I would affectionately refer to as 'white people problems.'"

To remedy that, the show's second season was fueled by an idea. "We were going to introduce a black family, and we were going to do it in Texas. HBO loved the idea, and we were super excited about it, and then Empire happened. It almost made us cut bait on the idea because it felt like, oh now we're just basically jumping on the bandwagon." Season two, however, ended up rolling out a whole new cast of central characters.

The show creator joined Sarah Treem (The Affair), Michelle King (The Good Wife), Beau Willimon (House of Cards), Alex Gansa (Homeland), and Lee Daniels (Empire) for the Roundtable, where the biggest drama TV influencers discussed writing, creative collaborations, and taking risks.

The full Drama Showrunner Roundtable aired on Close Up With The Hollywood Reporter on Aug. 30, at 11 a.m. ET/PT on Sundance TV and HollywoodReporter.com. Tune in this Sunday for the next episode.

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