Jeff Lieber is a screenwriter and TV writer. His movie credits include Tuck Everlasting and he is currently an executive producer of the CBS series “NCIS: New Orleans”. 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 231-240:
Showrunner Rule #231: Episode success more bout 1/2hour retention then overall #. Series must get aud to show, writer/director gotta keep’s.
Showrunner Rule 232: In network environ, hafta think bout season 2 DURING season 1. That or resign yourself to hiatus that’s 38 hours long.
Showrunner Rule #233: Every meeting to discuss promotion robs time from writing show to promote. But no promo, no show-mo. So go, yo?
Showrunner Rule #234: When you have 3 clues to get you to the same plot move, cut 2. TV is the most efficient art form since the haiku.
Showrunner Rule #235: Never forget that nothing really matters until the close up. Scenes that SUX in the wide, can sing in coverage.
Showrunner Rule #236: A staff is essentially a tribe. Choose well and survive the barren winter. Choose badly and starve before the thaw.
Showrunner Rule #237 (1of2) Page 42 is darkest moment in drama script. You’re miles away from “layup” cold open scenes and…
Showrunner Rule #237 (2of2) …plot which you and room never REALLY figured out, has just come home roost. #LuvTheGuyOnPage42
Showrunner Rule #238: Best feeling in the wide world, filling that plot hole on page 42 with something you discover on page 51. #TheGuyOnPage51
Showrunner Rule #239: Lead character is defined by X, which is why she does A, B, and C differently than any other character on television.
Showrunner Rule #239 Addendum: Please return to rule #226 as all iconic television is defined by that rule and that rule alone.
Showrunner Rule #240 (1of2): Demand staff ASK FOR HELP. Nothing worse than “me do” writer who insists on writing every word…
Showrunner Rule #240 (2of2): …then turns in shatty draft a day late. Job as producer is to PRODUCE & that may mean assists from others.
Here is Jeff’s bio:
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.
You can follow Jeff on Twitter (@JeffLieber).
For all of the Showrunner Rules, go here.