Showrunner Rules from Jeffrey Lieber: Numbers 31-40

February 12th, 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 31-40.

Showrunner Rule #31: Given a choice between 2 jobs, pick the one where Showrunner loves her/his spouse & kids. That way you’re home by 7PM.

Showrunner Rule #32: Choices come with a cost element. Local actor ($) vs LA/NY ($$) vs NAME ($$$$). Choice seems funny; follow the money.

Showrunner Rule #33: The set’s where work you’ve ALREADY done gets shot. So, when you can, stay OFF set & finish the NEXT round of work.

Showrunner Rule #34: The thing your show DOES every week is called the “franchise”. In CSI its solving murders. In Treme its jazzorleans?

Showrunner Rule #35 (via @kristieannereed): A EXTREME close up of an actor & a brown, plastic, trash basket… is NOT professional TV.

Showrunner Rule #36: Nothing good comes from reading Deadline Hollywood & brain syphilis comes from reading comments on Deadline Hollywood.

Showrunner Rule #37: Same audience that makes u MASSIVE hit on cable (4 mill & 1.3 demo) means you’ve been cancelled after 2 eps on network.

Showrunner Rule #38: Knowing that integration is a necessary evil, NEVER let your character hold a product. Even whores got some standards.

Showriunner Rule #39: Every episode of television MUST start like this, so be not afraid.

Showrunner Rule #40: A pilot concept needs to be simple enough to be pitched during an average elevator ride. hence the term elevator pitch.

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

Numbers 11-20, go here.

Numbers 21-30, go here:

Next: Showrunner Rules: Numbers 41-50.

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!

Comment Archive

2 thoughts on “Showrunner Rules from Jeffrey Lieber: Numbers 31-40

  1. WC says:

    He’s right about Deadline Hollywood that’s for sure.

  2. Rather maddeningly, the link contained in the cryptic rule #39 is broken. Every episode starts like what?

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