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NYC TV Week: Showrunners' Work Rarely Stops

Complete Coverage: NYC Television Week

New York -- Taking time from shooting the sixth season of Nurse Jackie, Clyde Phillips said his job as executive producer and showrunner on the Showtime series keeps him quite busy.

Phillips, speaking on a panel during NewBay Media’s inaugural NYC Television Week on Oct. 29, said his job entails among other things, talking to the premium network, negotiating the fees with the head writer, casting, hiring writers and crew. He also told moderator Paige Albiniak, contributing editor at Broadcasting & Cable, it’s his job to hold egos and hands every day, as people call in sick, have babies, get divorced.

“We hold the family together and make sure there are enough Cheerios on set and what it costs to shoot at Lincoln Center,” Phillips said, now running a second season of Nurse Jackie, after spending four season with Showtime’s top series, Dexter. “I like challenges on both sides of my brain.”

Joe Weisberg, creator, executive producer and writer, on FX’s international spy drama, The Americans, also relishes the craziness of his gig. A former teacher, CIA member and novelist, Weisberg has enjoyed being “thrust into a job leading a very large group of people, and trying to understand every side of business. All parts of the brain are working 14-hour days. It’s stimulating, but a struggle to keep up while being creative at the same time. It’s quite a trick.”
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