From Shonda Rhimes to Tina Fey: What's Next for 9 of TV's Top Showrunners

6:00 AM 10/3/2019

by Lesley Goldberg

These mega-producers didn't technically meet the parameters for The Hollywood Reporter's 2019 Power List — but their big deals and buzzy next acts makes most of them locks for 2020.

From left: Shonda Rhimes, Tina Fey and Damon Lindelof
From left: Shonda Rhimes, Tina Fey and Damon Lindelof
Getty Images
  • David Benioff and Dan Weiss

    Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

    Wrapping HBO's most-watched original series ever with a record 32 Emmy noms, the Game of Thrones guys left the cable network for a wild $250 million pact at Netflix. Timing on their first project is a bit fuzzy, however, what with their to-do list also including a new Star Wars trilogy.

  • Tina Fey and Robert Carlock

    Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

    Two of comedy's most cherished producers will close the book on Netflix's Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt with a 2020 "interactive special." Fey is considered to be the next megadeal at Universal TV, especially since the pair scored a series order for a mayoral comedy starring Ted Danson.

  • Damon Lindelof

    Rodin Eckenroth/FilmMagic

    A true TV auteur and hitmaker, Lindelof is one of the rare breed who still prefers focusing on one project at a time. Watchmen, his spin on Alan Moore's beloved DC Comics title, due Oct. 20 on HBO, has been years in the making and ranks near the top of 2019's most anticipated launches.

  • David Mandel

    Michael Loccisano/WireImage

    Mandel silenced skeptics when he took over Veep from creator Armando Iannucci. So after steering one of the most high-profile comedies to its conclusion — and another nine Emmy noms — Mandel turns his attention to the 10th season of Curb Your Enthusiasm and a rich new HBO deal.

  • Jason Katims

    Monica Schipper/Getty Images

    The showrunner behind two of broadcast's most beloved family dramas — Friday Night Lights and Parenthood — has one last broadcast launch (Fox's Almost Family, out Oct. 2) as he segues to streaming with Netflix space drama Away, an Amazon pilot and a fresh overall deal at Apple.

  • Nahnatchka Khan

    Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images

    The former Fresh Off the Boat showrunner departed her longtime home at 20th Century Fox TV after the Disney merger for an eight-figure deal with Universal TV. There, her yet-to-be-announced output is expected to contribute to both the broadcast net and streamer Peacock.

  • Shonda Rhimes

    Jay Goldman/ABC

    Still an EP on her ABC dramas (e.g., Grey's Anatomy), Rhimes, the first of Netflix's nine-figure deals, is now solely focused on the nine (and counting) projects she's pursuing at the streamer. Soap Bridgerton, from Scandal alum Chris Van Dusen, will mark the first series of her new era.

    This story first appeared in the Oct. 1 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.