Showrunners

One of the most exciting developments for TV writers is the evolution of the professional showrunner, a position that gives writers more control over the creative vision, be it their own original series, or that of a fellow writer. IAWG member guilds have responded in a variety of ways to ensure their writers are trained to take on the additional roles involved, recognized by their peers, and aspects of their work included in collective agreements, where applicable.

Writers Guild of America

In 2006, the WGA W launched its Showrunner Training Program to help senior writer-producers hone their skills. Typical sessions focus on topics around the transition from writer to manager, including managing other writers and the script process, directors, executives and actors. Participants receive training in budget/scheduling, the pilot process, and tips on dealing with network and studio script notes.

The WGA also includes a chapter on showrunners in its Writing for Episodic TV booklet, available in PDF format.

Writers Guild of Canada

The WGC developed its Showrunner Code to establish a standard set of terms for members and their agents to negotiate. It sets out the ideal conditions under which the showrunner is best positioned to ensure he or she can realize their vision and deliver the highest quality show.

As an acknowledgement of their vital creative role, in 2007, the WGC added the showrunner category to its roster of awards. It also regularly engages showrunners in its Writers Talking TV speakers series, podcasts of which are available here.


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