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Sony Pictures Television is helping to groom a new generation of showrunners.
The indie studio has launched its inaugural Showrunner Training Program, an eight-week initiative in which 19 participants will receive practical knowledge and experience to potentially run their own shows in the future.
During the program, Sony-based showrunners Shawn Ryan, Brandon Sonnier and Brandon Margolis, David Shore, Robia Rashid, Amy Lippman and Hank Steinberg and execs including studio co-president Jason Clodfelter, exec vp programming Jeffrey Glaser and vp creative programming, diversity and inclusion Brett King will train writers and producers to effectively manage and run a TV series.
Topics covered in the program include the development process, creating and adhering to a budget, working with the studio/network/platform, casting, marketing/PR, business affairs/legal and postproduction. Other studio execs working in development, current programming, physical production, casting, business affairs, marketing, PR and other departments will also participate in the program.
“At SPT, we want to support the next generation of storytellers not only by creating a pipeline of opportunities, but also by giving writers the chance to gain insight and experience before being at the helm of their own shows,” Clodfelter said. “There are so many talented writers out there and we want to ensure they are set up for success. This is a fantastic inaugural class and we are excited to see what we all learn from each other in the process.”
Sony launched the program in response to the systemic issues that have come from the industry’s shift to streaming, which has created fewer episodes per season and resulted in writers often not having the opportunity to learn practical production experience in order to rise through the ranks and become showrunners.
The inaugural class of 19 participants were nominated by Sony showrunners and are currently working on programs for the studio including Hulu’s Woke, HBO Max’s The Gordita Chronicles, Amazon’s The Boys, AMC’s Better Call Saul, Apple’s For All Mankind, Fox’s Fantasy Island, NBC’s The Blacklist and Amazon’s A League Of Their Own, among others. The program launched late last week and runs through December.
Showrunner training programs are also available through the WGA and UCLA, among others.
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