When working on pilots, Burrows likes to bring in an audience to watch a bare-bones run-through after a few days of rehearsal. No amount of focus-group testing of the finished product can tell him more than the first impression of an impartial crowd.
“For most of my hits, those run-throughs have been through the roof,” Burrows says. “That’s how I gauge the show. I see if they like the characters and the actors they don’t know. That’s how you know what you have.”
Burrows’ track record speaks for itself — from his start as a director in 1974 on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” to “Cheers,” “Friends” and “The Big Bang Theory,