Showrunners 2012: '2 Broke Girls'' Michael Patrick King

The showrunner on network notes: “Fourteen uses of the word vagina are too many in one script.” To which I replied: “How many is acceptable?” The response: “Six.”

From their obsessive rituals (Peppermint Patties! Oatmeal! Bruce Springsteen!) to the parts of their jobs they hate most (killing characters off, dealing with agents), TV's most influential writer-producers featured on The Hollywood Reporter's annual list of the Top 50 Showrunners come clean about the people, things and quirky habits that keep them -- and their shows -- alive. 

Michael Patrick King, 2 Broke Girls (CBS)

The show that inspired me to write:
King: The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

My big break:
King: Joining the staff of Murphy Brown.

THR's Top 50 Showrunners 2012 -- the Complete List

My TV mentor:
King: Diane English is still the most shining example of a showrunner I’ve yet to experience.  

My proudest accomplishment in this year:
King: Putting a show on the air in a traditional sitcom format that has a contemporary edge.  

My toughest scene to write this year:
King: The second episode of any new show can be tough. You have about a week to top the well-crafted and polished pilot episode that was written over six months.

The most absurd network I’ve ever gotten:
King: “Fourteen uses of the word vagina are too many in one script.” To which I replied: “How many is acceptable?” The response:  “Six.”

The aspect of my job as showrunner that I’d rather delegate:
King: Looking at the ratings the morning after.

My preferred method for working through writer’s block:
King: Deadlines.

PHOTOS: Broadcast TV's Returning Shows for 2012-13 Season

If I could add any one writer to my staff, it would be:
King: Jesus Christ, because in some late night rewrites - you need a miracle.

What is the show I’m embarrassed to admit I watch:
King: Anything that has a housewife on it that writes her own dialogue.

The three things I need to write:
King: Time, tea and tuna sandwiches.

If I could scrub one credit from my resume, it would be:
King: None. The bad shows make you better.  Not necessarily your writing - but you