How to get promoted to showrunner

I listened to Greg Berlanti speak last week at a breakfast meeting.  While I had heard about his meteoric rise to head writer on Dawson’s Creek, I didn’t know the circumstances.  Kevin Williamson had expressed interest in Greg’s earlier coming out story screenplay and had become a mentor to him.  When the show got going, Kevin invited him onto the show.  Greg, who had wanted to explore features, was reluctant to work on a show where he would get rewritten all the time.  So, he proposed to Kevin that, since they’d been working together already, that Greg be allowed to do all his own rewrites so that he could learn.  It was put into his contract, and on it went.  When the shakedown happened on the show, leaving it without a runner, the network knew Greg was the go-to guy because he had already been rewriting his own scripts. 

I wonder to what extent you can negotiate doing your own rewrites if you haven’t worked with the head writer before…


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Filed under TV, Writing

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