Historical Review and Contemporary Characterization of Showrunner as Professional Profile in TV Series Production: Traits, Skills, Competences, and Style
Keywords: 
Showrunner
executive production
creative production
TV series
audiovisual authorship
Issue Date: 
2018
Publisher: 
Servicio de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Navarra
ISSN: 
2386-7876
Citation: 
Higueras-Ruiz, M. J. (María José); Gómez-Pérez, F. J. (Francisco Javier); Alberich-Pascual, J. (Jordi). "Historical Review and Contemporary Characterization of Showrunner as Professional Profile in TV Series Production: Traits, Skills, Competences, and Style". Communication & Society. 31 (1), 2018, 91 - 106
Abstract
This article reviews the professional profile of the showrunner in the audiovisual industry, from a historical and conceptual perspective: the background, the features that define it, and the TV media position. To do so, qualitative methodology has been used to conduct a thorough bibliographic review, and examine the emergence and development of the “showrunner” concept in television history, and the term used to describe it. We then analysed the “executive producer” and “creative producer” categories, both of which are associated with the objective of the study, to determine a generalized definition of the audiovisual showrunner. We have also examined the characteristics associated with this professional producer and writer position, the skill set required for the same, the roles and responsibilities to be managed during the production process, and the creative hallmark of authorship over the TV series. Finally, the results obtained suggest that this writer-producer position has existed since the onset of the television industry; however, the use of the term “showrunner” is more recent. Today, we see a revaluation of this profile in TV series production thanks to the generalized use of the concept “showrunner”, and due to several historical, cultural, and technological factors that contribute to this situation.

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