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iCritics: Showrunners Friends or Worst Enemies?

Social media and the 24-hour news cycle have pushed the water cooler conversation into hyper-drive. It’s happening around the clock with instantaneous reactions from professional critics and their armchair counterparts alike. For the industry, this trend is creating a bigger and bigger impact as the web’s response to TV shows has altered plotlines and even meant curtains for unpopular characters.

Showrunners are responding and adapting in different ways. Some embrace the feedback and participate in the conversation, while others lambast the episode-by-episode, plot-by-plot analysis. So what does this mean for the future of TV? Are the real-time reviews killing creativity? Should show runners embrace or rebel against their outspoken online audiences? And, why hasn't the model of traditional focus groups evaluating pilots evolved? Should the process move online and be more open? will host an engaging Q&A with celebrated showrunners on the topic.

Additional Supporting Materials


  1. What does the rise of social media mean for the future of TV and content creation?
  2. Are real-time reviews killing creativity?
  3. Should showrunners embrace or rebel against outspoken online audiences?
  4. Does the traditional TV focus group model need to evolve?
  5. What should today's focus group look like? Should it be online and more open?



Tim Surette, Writer,

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