Showrunner Rules from Jeffrey Lieber: Numbers 111-120

February 22nd, 2013 by

Jeff Lieber is a screenwriter and TV writer. His movie credits include Tuck Everlasting and he is currently an executive producer of the USA Network series “Necessary Roughness.” On Twitter (@JeffLieber), he has run a series of tweets called Showrunner Rules. For background on Jeff and this Twitter series, go here.

Today: Numbers 111-120:

Showrunner Rule #111: All stories can’t be given equal weight. If “C” & “D” runners have as many cards as “A” story… ya pooched the screw.

Showrunner Rule #112: Every story gets a color. Every scene gets a card.

Showrunner Rule #113: Mantra in room is… the story/outline/script will never be as bad as it is at this moment. Forward. Always forward.

Showrunner Rule #114: If you can remove a scene from board & story doesn’t implode… then scene isn’t primal. Run test B4 going 2 outline.

Showrunner (sneaky) Rule #115: Can’t get actor to give smile you NEED? Crack joke at very end of take, then “scrape the slate” in editing.

Showrunner Rule #116: 1st day on set, get off cell & make nice w/ transpo driver. Its polite, but also they have the dirt you need to know.

Showrunner Rule #117: 1st rule of Googling yourself is don’t, but if you MUST… don’t do it when on a deadline. (h/t @BittrScrptReadr)

Showrunner Rule #118: When interviewing editor, sit behind them & talk to back of their head. It’s what 93% of your relationship will be.

Showrunner Rule #119: In single-lead actor shows, Year 1, they work for u. Yearr 2, ur “partners”. Year 3 & beyond… u work for them.

Showrunner Rule #120: Try 2 B part of something that matters (h/t @NRWritersRoom, @crgshapiro)

For Showrunner Rules: Numbers 1-10, go here.

Numbers 11-20, go here.

Numbers 21-30, go here.

Numbers 31-40, go here.

Numbers 41-50, go here.

Numbers 51-60, go here.

Numbers 61-70, go here.

Numbers 71-80, go here.

Numbers 81-90, go here.

Numbers 91-100, go here.

Numbers 101-110, go here.

I asked Jeff for a bio. Here it is:

One day in 1986, after blowing up a glass beaker in a lab in high school, Jeffrey Lieber’s science teacher, Dr. Nagoi, turned to him and said, “Jeffrey… you be an actor… you be a writer… maybe have a family… but please, dear God, don’t be a chemist.” And it was those words that launched a journey that has ended up with Mr. Lieber becoming a screenwriter, showrunner, blogger, father and husband (Credits? Go here). Every day, while pursuing his passions, Mr. Lieber takes a moment to stop and thank Dr. Nagoi for his sage advice.

Thanks, Jeff. Best of luck on the front lines of running a TV series and all your creative endeavors!

UPDATE: Speaking of “best of luck,” Jeff lands a new gig.

We can look for more Showrunner Rules from Jeff in the weeks and months to come. You can follow them live on Twitter as Jeff rolls them out. Then with every group of ten, I’ll post them here and add them to the archives.

5 thoughts on “Showrunner Rules from Jeffrey Lieber: Numbers 111-120

  1. TheQuietAct says:

    “When interviewing editor, sit behind them & talk to back of their head. It’s what 93% of your relationship will be.”

    Simply Brilliant.

    1. TheQuietAct says:

      Oh wow! This is the first time I’ve posted with the ticking time bomb editor. Impressed!

      1. Scott says:

        More Showrunner Rules to come as Jeff keeps churning them out.

  2. Shaula Evans says:

    > the story/outline/script will never be as bad as it is at this moment. Forward. Always forward.

    That’s worth writing on the wall. Or tattooing inside your eyelids.

  3. I was just about to say the same thing, Shaula!

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