Running the Show: Television from the Inside

Applause. Sept. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9781493075294. pap. $24.95. TV
Veteran television writer/producer Melvoin offers a fascinating perspective on the entire process of creating a one-hour television production. The author draws on his own journey from staff writer to showrunner of such series as Remington Steele, Army Wives, and Killing Eve. He recalls both career lows (leading Picket Fences to its cancellation) and highlights (saving Early Edition and earning an Emmy nomination for Northern Exposure), Melvoin is honest about the pitfalls of the industry and the challenges of working in the chaotic era of broadcast and streaming productions. He candidly admits that it takes persistence, resilience, luck, and humor to survive in the industry. The book delves deeply into the tricks of successful writing, including when to find an agent and how to pitch script ideas and transition to showrunner. There are also lengthy lessons on everything from assembling a team (with a focus on an inclusive workplace for optimal creative output) to getting along with executives and even finding work-life balance.
VERDICT A must for readers interested in breaking into the business of writing or running a TV show. This entertaining guidebook gives straightforward, no-nonsense advice.
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