"I don't know but I've been told! We're over budget and the concept's old!
The Writers Guild of America West may be at war with the TV networks and studios over what constitutes a writer (i.e., do "reality" writers count?), but they all see the need for competent executive producers and are working together to launch the first Showrunner Training Program in January 2006.
Devised by producers and open to WGA writers who are currently employed as executive story editors (or above), or involved in active network/studio pilot development, the program will draw on candidate recommendations from executive producers, network and studio executives.
Twenty promising writers will ultimately be chosen to develop the skills necessary to become successful showrunners.
The program, proposed by the WGA during contract negotiations last year with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers (AMPTP) and networks, will feature veteran showrunners and other television industry professionals as guest instructors.
The AMPTP companies and networks provided initial funding for the program.
"We are pleased to have the opportunity to work together with the guild to support this innovative program, developing the future showrunners of our industry," said CBS Chairman Les Moonves.
"The lifeblood of our business lies in its ability to train the most promising of its professionals into people capable of turning a creative vision into a real television program that pleases viewers week after week. That's the showrunner's job – and the more of these talented individuals we at the networks and studios can draw on, the better."