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This story first appeared in the Oct. 25 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
After another 12 months of business that saw more headline-grabbing showrunner exits (The Walking Dead’s Glen Mazzara) and audacious debuts (House of Cards’ Beau Willimon), THR editors and reporters were intrigued once again to answer the question: What really goes into being the CEOs and creative chiefs of TV’s hottest series? Is it balancing multiple writers rooms in a single afternoon? (Yep.) Is it managing the marketing identity of a series, including even the branded Legos? (Uh-huh.) Is it surviving a shooting schedule that can make a Friday so long, one is inspired to create a new day of the week. (Indeed, that would be “Fraturday,” courtesy of first-time showrunner Willimon.) The most influential brains in the business reveal once again that showrunning TV’s biggest series is an occupation both defined by — and dependent on — a near-maniacal commitment to their crafts.
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