6:00am PT by Bryn Elise Sandberg, Kate Stanhope, Lesley Goldberg
Fall TV Survey: 17 Showrunners on Live Tweeting, Dream Guest Stars and More
Ahead of the fall television season's debut, The Hollywood Reporter surveyed a number of this year's top showrunners about their new series, making content in 2016 and the state of broadcast TV.
Below, Mike Schur, Jason Katims, Shawn Ryan and other small screen vets sound off on live tweeting, their dream guest stars and the show they feel guilty for not having seen yet.
Fill in the blank: Broadcast TV is _____.
Dan Fogelman, Fox’s Pitch/NBC’s This is Us: Going to have a good year. I've seen a lot of the pilots and I think people are starting to be willing to take chances a little bit more. And there are some really good people doing network TV this year. I’ve heard great things about The Good Place on NBC, [for instance,] but haven't seen it. And I saw Speechless on ABC, and that looked really good.
Liz Friedman, ABC’s Conviction: Alive and well.
Josh Berman, ABC’s Notorious: Exciting.
Scott Silver, ABC’s Speechless: Getting better because it has to.
David Guggenheim, ABC’s Designated Survivor: Underappreciated.
Shawn Ryan, NBC's Timeless: What my friends and relatives in Rockford, Illinois watch and what I watched that made me want to write for TV one day.
Jeremy Slater, Fox's The Exorcist: Unfairly maligned! I think there's a pervasive industry snobbery when it comes to cable versus network, this idea that cable equals quality while broadcast equals product, and it's nonsense. Especially when you consider that the vast majority of the greatest shows of all time ran on network TV. Would The West Wing have been better with gratuitous violence and nudity? How about Cheers? Friday Night Lights? Seinfeld? (Okay, that last one sounds awesome, I'll give you that.) If you have the right creative partners, you can tell a great story anywhere.
Rock Reuben and Bruce Helford, CBS' Kevin Can Wait: An ever-changing wonderland filled with hope and joy and lots of people, all of whom you have to please at the same time.
Mark Goffman, CBS' Bull: Taking chances. Bull is not a crime show, not a legal show. We get to pull back the curtain on the psychology behind what really influences judges, lawyers, clients and juries.
Jason Katims, CBS' Pure Genius: Still broadcast TV. I love the challenge of it, the pace of it. I love that there are still people out there who watch TV live and talk about it at work the next day.
Peter Lenkov, CBS' MacGyver: Very much alive and kicking.
Jeff and Jackie Filgo, CBS' Man With a Plan: Unpredictable.
Chris Harris, CBS' The Great Indoors: A terrible name for a ska band.
Mike Schur, NBC's The Good Place: Extant, as of September 2016.
Complete this sentence: Live tweeting is ______.
Silveri: Something that people who don't have AOL like me do!
Guggenheim: Boring to me.
Ryan: A form of hubris that probably reaches fewer people than you think (unless you're Shonda Rhimes), but that allows you to connect with your most passionate fans.
Slater: A garbage idea perpetuated by garbage people. Watch the show, enjoy the show. Twitter will still be there when you finish. "Unless my employers demand that I live tweet future episodes, in which case live tweeting is a grand idea and everyone should follow @jerslater."
Reuben and Helford: A good way to end your career.
Goffman: A great place to connect with fans, share behind-the-scenes details, and find out all the things I'm doing wrong.
Katims: Something I’m seriously considering trying one day.
Lenkov: Real time reviews and only painful if you’re human.
Filgo: Something people younger than us do.
Harris: Something I’ll never understand, since I watch TVin order to AVOID reading. But if they tell us it’s good for the show, then we’ll do it.
Schur: Good for sports, bad for fictional entertainment.
The Ideal number of episodes to tell your story is…
Fogelman: On a personal workload level, 10 is ideal; 13 or 16 is great; 22 is really hard. Realistically, I do what my bosses tell me to do!
Berman: I love 22. The nice thing about Notorious is we are modeling ourselves after a typical news cycle, which turns through stories every 15 minutes. You will not be bored.
Silveri: We're a 22-episode show. Tell ABC!
Guggenheim: We are hoping for 22. We want to be a full, long-term network show.
Corinne Brinkerhoff, No Tomorrow: 10 per season for 100 seasons.
Slater: The easy answer is "As many as it takes."
Reuben and Helford: 200.
Katims: However many the network orders. I like the long season that broadcast TV offers. My favorite cable and streaming shows run out of episodes too fast and I’m left waiting around way too long for more.
Lenkov: As many as I'm told I need to deliver.
Harris: 99 and not a single episode more. Just kidding. 3,700.
My dream guest star is…
Fogelman: I just did a movie with Al Pacino and I've been trying to find the right part in one of the shows where I could actually go to him and say, 'I have something worth your time,' and see if he would do it. This Is Us lives in the monologue — it's a bit like a stage play -- and it'd be great to get Al to do a monologue. But he loves baseball and I was thinking of asking him to come do Pitch, but we haven't had the right thing. You want a part that's written for him and right for him and then you try to convince him.
Friedman: Angelina Jolie immediately comes to mind…
Berman: P-Diddy, and we have him in episode two.
Silveri: John Cleese, who is my dream guest star for every show.
Guggenheim: I'd love it if we got Donald Sutherland to come on and play his father or anybody. Or if i can get anyone who has ever played James Bond, I'd do that.
Brinkerhoff: Any of the Muppets.
Ryan: My wife Cathy Cahlin Ryan. She played Vic Mackey's wife in The Shield and maybe Corrine can go back in time and see what's up with all those Shield characters.
Slater: John Goodman. Because John Goodman has never given a bad performance, and I assume that he's probably the single most wonderful person on the planet, and I'll fistfight anyone who says otherwise.
Reuben and Helford: Amy Schumer would be an incredible client. Samuel Jackson would be my favorite Bull adversary. And Benedict Cumberbatch just because.
Goffman: Already cast. Stay tuned.
Katims: The guest stars that really excite me aren’t necessarily the big stunts. For example, we were casting the role of Richard on The Path and I thought of Clark Middleton who I hadn’t seen since I wrote a play he was in in New York twenty years earlier. We cast Clark, he was amazing, and our creator Jessica Goldberg just kept making his role bigger and bigger. It started out as one scene and he’s become a central part of the show. Nothing beats that.
Lenkov: The original MacGyver Richard Dean Anderson.
Filgo: We already cast them as series regulars.
Harris: We'd love to reunite Stephen Fry with Hugh Laurie sometime. Honestly we’re excited for any guest star, except the aforementioned bear, who will not be asked back.
Schur: Whichever actor best fits the part we're trying to cast.
What's a good hashtag for your series?
Guggenheim: #Survivors or #DesignatedFans
Slater: #NationalJohnGoodmanAppreciationDay. Come on, guys, let's get this trending. We can do it.
Reuben and Helford: #KevinCanWait #CBSMonday
Harris: Since I’m over 40, I don’t believe there’s any good hashtag for anything.
I’ve been so busy making my show, I feel guilty for not having seen…
Fogelman: Stranger Things, and everyone is talking about it. And The Americans!
Friedman: The Night Of, especially because it relates to our show.
Berman: The Night Of.
Silveri: Game of Thrones. I feel ridiculous. I have to see that.
Guggenheim: Game of Thrones and The Night Of.
Brinkerhoff: My friends.
Ryan: The Night Of.
Slater: My girlfriend.
Reuben and Helford: Sunlight. We’re guessing it’s still up there doing its thing.
Lenkov: Any summer movies.
Filgo: The Olympics.
Harris: This questionnaire until just before it was due. Sorry these responses suck.
Schur: My wife and kids. And, like, the Great Wall of China.