Showrunner Rules from Jeffrey Lieber: Numbers 21-30

February 11th, 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 21-30:

Showrunner Rule #21: Upon arriving in office ask how long it took to get off 1st shot. Less than 1hr GREAT. Less than 2hrs FINE. More than 2hrs… YOU’RE IN THE SHITS.

Showrunner Rule #22: You’ll ALWAYS fall in love w/ temp music cues, so don’t ever let editors temp with songs you can’t afford.

Showrunner Rule #23 (1 of 2): On the same Tuesday, you’ll spot cues for 101, while editing 102 AND shooting scenes for 103…

Showrunner Rule #23 (2 of 2) …AND writing script for 104 AND outlining 105 AND breaking story for 106. This Tuesday will be called normal.

Showrunner Rule #24: The 3rd time you fight for a pitch and are told “no”, GIVE UP, because, in the end, I’ll get flayed when it bombs.

Showrunner Rule #25: Write surgery scenes w/ masked doctors so, later, with ADR, you can go back & fix your bad dialogue any way you like.

Showrunner Rule #26: Twitter = great tool for writing dialogue. Almost every great line is less than 140 Characters. “Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown.”

Showrunner Rule #27: Watch any ep. from 1st season of “Boomtown,” then any ep. from 2nd season. The erosion is AKA “network involvement”.

Showrunner Rule #28 (I’ve failed): Don’t cast yourself in a cameo in the very scene that causes your pilot to TANK in testing. #AmITHATUgly?

Showrunner Rule #29: The proper response to a network note that you find intellectually insulting is a cheery, “Let us think about that.”

Showrunner Rule #30: Never chase a trend ’cause a bigger writer’ll get there 1st & yesterday’s vampires are tomorrows stodgy british family.

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

Numbers 11-20, go here.

Next: Showrunner Rules: Numbers 31-40.

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!

One thought on “Showrunner Rules from Jeffrey Lieber: Numbers 21-30

  1. TheQuietAct says:

    I love number 25.
    In fact I’m starting to question why can’t all characters wear a surgical mask in every script I write?

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