Top execs from NBC's Jennifer Salke to HBO's Casey Bloys weigh in on everything from the showrunner they'd love to work with to the thing they wish their peers would stop talking about already.
DAVID NEVINS (SHOWTIME) Natalie Portman
KEITH COX (TV LAND) I miss Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.
NICK GRAD (FX, FXXX) Quentin Tarantino
COURTENEY MONROE (NAT GEO) Elon Musk
KENT ALTERMAN (COMEDY CENTRAL) David Letterman
BILL ABBOTT (HALLMARK) Jay Leno
CHRIS LINN (truTV) Dave Chappelle
DAVID MADDEN (FOX) Damien Chazelle
MARK PEDOWITZ (THE CW) I thought everybody was doing TV?!
MATT CHERNISS (WGN AMERICA) Showtime's Twin Peaks.
COX Matt Weiner's Amazon series.
ERIC SCHRIER (FX, FXX) Netflix's The Crown. We were aggressive about it.
CINDY HOLLAND (NETFLIX) HBO's The Night Of. The show, not the deal.
CHANNING DUNGEY (ABC) NBC's This Is Us.
ALTERMAN Netflix paying comedians more than Donald Trump's net worth.
CHRIS MCCARTHY (MTV, VH1, LOGO) ABC's overall deal with Regina King.
ADAM STOTSKY (E!, ESQUIRE) FXX's acquisition of the Simpsons library.
CRAIG ERWICH (HULU) AMC's The Spy Who Came in From the Cold.
ROY PRICE (AMAZON) None. We got all the deals we wanted.
NEVINS Envy is not a good look on network executives.
MONROE We just announced a documentary films banner, and we're looking to tell provocative, timely stories. Maybe there will be a Trump documentary under that banner.
HOLLAND That is up to the creators who work with us.
RICH ROSS (DISCOVERY, ANIMAL PLANET, SCIENCE) We're one of the few networks that didn't have to change anything because we were speaking to an audience that is really speaking out as not being heard, and they're being heard on our network. That's why Discovery had its second-highest ratings ever during the election.
ROB SHARENOW (A&E, LIFETIME) He seems to have a loyal core fan base, so I'd be open to him auditioning for any number of projects we have in development on either A&E or Lifetime.
CHERNISS Outsiders and Underground
SHARENOW Bring It!
SCHRIER It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
HOLLAND The Ranch
PRICE All or Nothing
ALTERMAN Tosh.0 because Daniel [Tosh] is an equal-opportunity offender. Liberals and conservatives never tire of seeing people whack their own selves in the nuts.
COX NFL ratings slipping.
NEVINS The dearth of cancellations.
SCHRIER That there's one breakout hit, NBC's This Is Us, and nothing else.
ABBOTT Ratings are either flat or up in most places.
MCCARTHY Why more people aren't talking about HBO's Insecure.
JENNIFER CASERTA (IFC) Everything about FX's Atlanta in the best way possible.
SARAH BENNETT (BBC AMERICA) Political satire is still funny.
HOLLAND There's still a season?!
PEDOWITZ It's hard to get heard when you're pushing close to 500 scripted series. You have to have a lot of patience.
GRAD Derivative programming.
HOLLAND Fake news.
PRICE I'm just not feeling fearful now.
CASERTA The media consumption habits of anyone under 30.
COLLIER Countless examples of elevated storytelling.
BLOYS Everyone in film wanting to dip their toes in the TV pool.
PEDOWITZ Kevin James would make an interesting Roger Ailes.
COX Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig.
PRICE Toby Jones and Margot Robbie.
LINN Bill Murray and Kristen Wiig.
ROSS Katherine Heigl would be great.
BENNETT John Goodman and Charlize Theron.
SHARENOW I'd love to see William Shatner.
ALTERMAN Donald Trump and Kellyanne Conway. It's already in development.
PEDOWITZ Nielsen. Just do the job.
COX Trump, Netflix, Putin.
GARY NEWMAN (FOX) Peak TV
STOTSKY Netflix's programming budget.
CHRIS MCCUMBER (USA, Syfy)The so-called "content bubble."
ROSS Awards won and not the stories told.
CHARLIE COLLIER (AMC, SUNDANCE) Inaccurate measurement, but we have to keep talking about it.
JENNIFER SALKE (NBC) Ratings
BARNETT Skinny bundles. Not the concept so much as the words.
CHERNISS A network has no intention of bringing it back and no other network wants to make it.
COX There's no buzz in or outside the company.
NEVINS The story has peaked, the creator says it's done, and I no longer believe there's gas still in the tank.
GRAD Never, I'm still waiting for Netflix to bring back Manimal!
CASEY BLOYS (HBO) Hopefully when the showrunners feel that the series has come to a natural conclusion and their story has been told.
JANA BENNETT (HISTORY) The cost outweighs its popularity, the story or talent run out of road, or the show is just never ever going to take off.
HOLLAND When we cancel it.
SALKE It underperforms and doesn't show any measurable passionate fan base with potential to grow.
CASERTA You learn from Twitter your star has a movie deal.
MCCUMBER The audience loses passion for it.
NEWMAN The audience tells you they’re not interested. And it’s usually heartbreaking.
COLLIER It has been fully evaluated on its own merits, taking into account variables as disparate as viewership, storyteller vision, fan engagement, business economics and what the Magic 8 Ball says.
ALTERMAN It runs its natural course … or our fans tell us it has.
CHERNISS Space-based sci-fi.
NEVINS Half-hour episodic anthology.
COLLIER The procedural.
ROSS Game shows
BARNETT Smart, unabashedly satisfying episodic drama.
CASERTA Is Hamilton officially a genre yet?
NEWMAN A police procedural not set in Chicago.
PEDOWITZ Damon Lindelof (1) and Carlton Cuse (2) •
NEVINS Shonda Rhimes (3) and Larry David (4)
GRAD Kenya Barris (5)
HOLLAND Shonda Rhimes (3)
PRICE David Mandel (6)
SALKE Donald Glover (7)
COLLIER Norman Lear (8)
ERWICH Ryan Murphy (9)
BARNETT Kathryn Bigelow (10)
ALTERMAN Jenji Kohan (11)
SHARON LEVY (SPIKE) Steven Knight (12)
DUNGEY Ryan Murphy (9)
GRAD I like to talk about programming that explores why we're so divided, but I'm not into giving a voice or glorifying people who are in such an extreme place. I don't need to bridge that gap.
MONROE As a proper documentary with an acclaimed filmmaker? Potentially. As a reality show? Absolutely not.
PRICE Probably not.
NEVINS Would I do a documentary about the KKK? Yes.
LINN No, there's nothing funny about the KKK so it wouldn't be on-brand for us.
ROSS No, I don't think there's any way that that will not be inflammatory. There are stories to be told but that was playing with fire, and a fire that I don't think was necessary.
STOTSKY We actually do a KKKKKK series… Kim, Khloe, Kourtney, Kendall, Kylie and Kris.
NEVINS Losing my Sundays.
GRAD It never ends.
BLOYS Too many nights out away from my family.
HOLLAND That so much great talent goes unrecognized.
ERWICH Making sure your tux fits.
ALTERMAN tTe morning after.
BENNETT Not winning … or seeing the same shows nominated year on year. Because it is more exciting to celebrate new shows (unless they are your entries!).
COLLIER It turns out that no one else in the world agrees it’s a season.