Bionic Woman Burns Through Yet Another Showrunner

by Paul William Tenny

bionic-woman.jpgWhile I read through some lengthy news clippings and wait for Variety's horrible Windows webserver to actually return the text to the articles I'm trying to load, I'll depress whatever fans NBC's Bionic Woman has left with the news that they are officially on their third showrunner since the series pilot was shot. For those who don't know, a showrunner is the highest level executive producer - the king of the show so to speak and roughly equivalent to a feature film director only for television - usually a writer and the person who created the show in the first place.

Some of them write during the course of the show while some write the pilot and then guide the writing staff the rest of the way to maintain their vision of what the show should be. They decide what ideas get turned into scripts, make the final editing cut of every episode, approve the musical score, get almost-final-say on casting, and literally run the show, hence the term. I say almost which can be applied to all of those jobs because the network has the very final say, but if the ratings are good, generally they won't interfere.

I don't know of Glenn Morgan was the original series showrunner but he was a central creative voice to the series, and left after the pilot due to "creative differences" with the network, which then brought in Friday Night Lights showrunner Jason Katims to pull double-duty, though it wasn't clear if this was supposed to be a permanent solution or a stopgap. That in fact is still not certain because no reason was has been given for this change at all.

Jason Cahill has stepped into the fire to helm the series from now on, which is interesting because he's only ever been credited as a writer with no executive producing experience at all. Those writing credits while credible are few and far between, so NBC is taking a real chance here, even if this guy has written for The Sopranos, E.R., and NYPD Blue.
in Television


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