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From ‘Master of None’ to ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,’ First-Time Showrunners Make an Impact

2 August 2016 8:00 AM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

In the era of peak TV, there’s no single path to becoming a showrunner.

Writers used to work their way up through a system and patiently wait their turn to run their own show. But the proliferation of outlets, increasing demand for bold content, and opportunities to scale a show to specific creative needs have combined to open the door for showrunners of various backgrounds and experience levels.

Six freshman series from the past year made Variety’s TV Producers Impact List with first-time showrunners at the helm: Showtime’s “Billions,” NBC’s “The Carmichael Show,” The CW’s “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” Netflix’s “Master of None,” Hulu’s “The Path,” and Wgn’s “Underground.” The only common link among the six is that they don’t conform to traditional notions of TV.

Take “Master of None,” a star vehicle for former “Parks and Recreation” cast member Aziz Ansari, that he created with “Parks” writer Alan Yang. While »

- Geoff Berkshire

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