Showrunner Rules from Jeffrey Lieber: Numbers 51-60

February 14th, 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 51-60.

Showrunner Rule #51: If you’re running a show where you can swear you’re likely not getting your full “quote” but u got a chance at an Emmy.

Showrunner Rule #52 (1 of 2): Additional Dialogue Recorded is the clean up for the FUBAR scene you created that has confused audience…

Showrunner Rule #52. (2 of 2): It’s the off-camera/back of the head dialogue explaining, “Oh, that’s Tristin, Chloe’s sister’s mother’s son.”

Showrunner Rule #53: Know what you SUCK at & hire someone to compensate. Me = bad w/ costumes, so some Co-EP must have Vogue subscription.

Showrunner Rule #54: Watching shatty director’s cuts enough to drive one to seppuku. Get someone to “warm up” cut before you get into bay.

Showrunner Rule #55: Federal Holidays good! Venice to Valley… 23 minutes. (Line at coffee shop… just as long.)

Showrunner Rule #56 (failed): If you write a character BALD, but cast an actor w/ hair, someone WILL shave his head if you don’t stop them.

Showrunner Rule #56A (addendum, succeeded): Make a time to insist that hair and make-up come see you 1st, before shaving anyone’s head.

Showrunner Rule #57: In Magnum PI days they’d shoot eps in 12 days. Now, 8. Yet, IMO, TV is much better. Tech & perception of medium R why.

Showrunner Rule #58: Pretty much everything after, “You’re going to have to concept off a beat sheet” is your fault. Director now blameless.

Showrunner Rule #59: 1st season, absolutely do not go over budget on eps 101-106. Rule 59 becomes moot if you premiere to 15 mil & 6.1 demo.

Showrunner Rule #60: Shows have a pattern of in (stage days) & out (locations) days. # of out days dictates how much real world you see.

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.

Next: Showrunner Rules: Numbers 61-70.

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!

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