TV insiders open up about the show they wish was theirs, the Emmy category they'd create and the job they'd have if they weren't working in Hollywood: "POTUS — it doesn't seem that hard."
A version of this story first appeared in the Sept. 13 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
RICH ROSS, DISCOVERY Sansa Stark.
ROB SHARENOW, HISTORY & LIFETIME Don't ask me. I'm one of the few people who had their money on Hodor.
KEITH COX, PARAMOUNT NETWORK & TV LAND Arya Stark.
KEVIN REILLY, TBS & TNT Could a Joffrey resurrection somehow be possible?
COURTENEY MONROE, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Raising three kids as a single mom while holding down a high-pressure job isn't easy, and working moms gotta look out for one another. So, I'm pulling for Daenerys.
NICK GRAD, FX HBO.
CINDY HOLLAND, NETFLIX Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, First of Her Name, The Unburnt, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons — not that I've watched the show or anything.
JOEL STILLERMAN, HULU Mario Batali or Cat Cora. Oh wait, that's Iron Chef.
CASEY BLOYS, HBO I actually know and will never tell.
KENT ALTERMAN, COMEDY CENTRAL Trump's presidency.
JENNIFER CASERTA, IFC Disney's OTT service.
DAVID NEVINS, SHOWTIME The Mayweather-McGregor fight.
CRAIG ERWICH, HULU David Letterman coming back to TV.
BLOYS Amy Poehler
SHARENOW Sofia Coppola
ERWICH Quentin Tarantino
MARK PEDOWITZ, THE CW Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse
JENNIFER SALKE, NBC I'd love to get Ryan Murphy back to NBC.
DEBRA LEE, BET Idris Elba
CASERTA Steve Coogan
ERIC SCHRIER, FX The Handmaid's Tale
CHRIS ALBRECHT, STARZ Better Call Saul
BLOYS The Handmaid's Tale
STILLERMAN Atlanta, Stranger Things and Patriot
ADAM STOTSKY, E! Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath
ERWICH Ken Burns' The Vietnam War
ERIK LOGAN, OWN This Is Us
CHRIS LINN, TRUTV Sarah Silverman's I Love You, America
CHARLIE COLLIER, AMC & SUNDANCETV Super Bowl LII
MONROE The new David Letterman show on Netflix.
SARAH BARNETT, BBC AMERICA Master of None, Love, Better Things
STILLERMAN Most original show.
ERWICH Best series finale.
COX Best comedy or drama with commercials.
CHRIS MCCARTHY, MTV, VH1 & LOGO Outstanding villain in a reality series.
KELLY KAHL, CBS Best drama and best comedy for shows that run a full 16-episode-plus season.
BILL ABBOTT, HALLMARK CHANNEL Shows Middle America actually watches.
TOM ASCHEIM, FREEFORM A young adult category.
CHANNING DUNGEY, ABC Outstanding new series.
HOLLAND Best comedy regardless of running time.
NEVINS More nominees in the best drama and comedy series categories.
ALTERMAN How long it took to get to the restaurant.
ROSS Politics and traffic — gridlock all around.
BLOYS When the TV bubble will burst.
STILLERMAN Peak TV.
PEDOWITZ Netflix, Hulu and Amazon.
MCCARTHY When are TRL and Yo! MTV Raps coming back.
SALKE This Is Us.
ASCHEIM Ratings decline, direct to consumer and the kids.
MONROE What the rest of the world must think about America right now.
ALBRECHT Piloting passengers around Lake Geneva.
NEVINS Journalist or politico.
STILLERMAN Owning a bowling alley.
STOTSKY Stay-at-home dad or a cobbler.
LOGAN Surf instructor at the Oprah Winfrey Maui Ranch.
LINN Teacher or therapist, not that different from my current job.
KAHL Assistant greenskeeper.
CASERTA POTUS — it doesn't seem that hard.
GRAD A series commitment without a script.
NEVINS Sellers misunderstanding the value of a meaningful backend.
SHARENOW The perception of another brand being "cooler" than one of our brands.
ERWICH When the reasons for the choice are not clear.
COX A rival's hype.
REILLY When we never even get a look.
KAHL When they have more room on their schedule for the show.
DUNGEY When the producers don't even bring us the pitch because "it didn't feel like an ABC show."
HOLLAND Fear of the unknown.
ALTERMAN Onto something.
ROSS Trying everything at least once.
SHARENOW Still waiting for me to send back some of the DVDs I forgot to mail back in the early 2000s.
PEDOWITZ My competitor and my friend.
LOGAN Great for the creation of exceptional content today.
LINN Forcing dynamic change across the industry.
MCCARTHY Keeping us on our toes.
REILLY The first chapter in the second book of the trilogy about the formerly insular, indulgent and inspiring purveyor of magic and myth called Hollywood.
LEE A serious competitor.
COLLIER A really great long or a really great short, depending on whom you listen to.
ASCHEIM Destroying the Western world as we know it.
CASERTA Spending a lot of money on content, have you heard?
MONROE A transformative force.
BARNETT A ubiquitous topic of conversation.
COX The Lannisters.
HOLLAND The place where you can do your best work.
GRAD CBS' Les Moonves
ALBRECHT FX's John Landgraf
SHARENOW Warner Bros. TV's Peter Roth
STILLERMAN Pixar's John Lasseter
ERWICH Disney's Bob Iger
COX Ted Turner
MCCARTHY Comedy Central's Kent Alterman
ABBOTT Lionsgate's Jon Feltheimer
LEE ABC's Channing Dungey
HOLLAND Universal's Donna Langley
ALBRECHT Spending money.
ABBOTT Becoming overly attached to storylines.
LEE Complaining about standards.
ROSS I'd expect to continue to own all our programming.
ALBRECHT Hopefully all of it.
SHARENOW Nearly 100 percent.
STOTSKY 100 percent.
PEDOWITZ We already own it.
COX Financially, all; emotionally, the hits.
MCCARTHY All of it, I hope.
REILLY We will own as much of "our schedule" as we can in partnership with creators, but there will be no "schedule." Instead we will enable consumers to "own their own schedule."
KAHL We will own most of it, like we do now.
LINN All of it, just like we do today.
ABBOTT More than 50 percent.
SALKE We definitely hope to increase our homegrown hits, but we will always continue to buy the best shows out there from any supplier.
LEE 60 percent.
COLLIER Five years from now, what's a schedule?
ASCHEIM 100 percent.
MONROE Even more than we do today, and we already own most of what is on our air.
BARNETT A higher percentage of any cable nets' originals will be owned shows, though probably as a trend, networks won't be increasing the overall number of slots — maybe the opposite. Rather than [just] size of audience, it will be more about shows that matter to energetic fandoms and to the long-term business. And still, efficient acquisitions will continue to be the volume play on cable nets' schedules.
HOLLAND More than today, but we want to work with all of the studios, too.