Showrunner

OVERVIEW

The sixteenth session of the Guild’s highly acclaimed Showrunner Training Program (SRTP) begins January 2021. Conducted in partnership with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, this important industry training program is designed to help senior-level writer-producers and recent creators hone the skills necessary to become successful showrunners in today’s television landscape.

Providing invaluable instruction from current showrunners and other industry professionals, the program has helped produce many successful results. SRTP graduates have gone on to create, co-create or showrun over 150 series.

This year, 19 new shows were created, developed and/or co-created/co-developed by Program alums. These shows premiered or are premiering in 2019/2020/2021:

#blackAF (Kenya Barris)
Echo 3 (Jason Horwitch)
Human Resources (Kelly Galuska)
Kavalier and Clay (Ayelet Waldman)
Life Undercover (Megan Martin)
Locke & Key (Meredith Averill, Aron Coleite)
Mixed-Ish (Peter Saji)
Power Book II: Ghost (Courtney Kemp)
Power Book III: Raising Kanan (Courtney Kemp)
Selena: The Series (Moises Zamora)
Sex/Life (Stacy Rukeyser)
The Terminal List (David Digilio)
The Walking Dead: World Beyond (Scott Gimple)
Turner and Hooch (Matt Nix)
Twenties (Lena Waithe)
Undone (Kate Purdy)
Untitled Beauty and the Beast Musical Prequel (Eddy Kitsis & Adam Horowitz)
Wifey (Frankie Shaw)
ZeroZeroZero (Mauricio Katz)

35 alumni have continuing series this year, either as creators or showrunners or both.

See a complete list of SRTP alumni.

It is anticipated that the 2021 program will be presented virtually. Class starts on January 9, 2021 and runs six Saturdays, ending on February 27, 2021 (no class on January 16, MLK Day weekend or February 13, Presidents Day Weekend).

Read the Showrunner Training Program FAQ.

Who is Eligible to Apply?  

  • Current-active WGAW or WGAE members in good standing with "Supervising Producer" level credit or above on a current, dramatic (comedy or drama) television series and/or a pilot script, pilot or series currently set up at a network, cable channel or streaming service. Writing teams are considered a single entity and are welcome to apply.

The Application Process

To apply for the SRTP, a recommendation form must first be submitted on the writer’s behalf by a current or recent (2018-2020) showrunner, or executive producer, or a network or studio executive (from the development or current departments).

Recommendation forms will be emailed to showrunners, executives, and TV series writers on August 17, 2020. The deadline for recommendations to be received is Monday, September 14, 2020.

Please only have one recommendation form submitted on your behalf.

If a writer applied last year there’s no need to have a new recommendation submitted on their behalf; he or she can use the recommender from the previous year. If a candidate chooses to do this, they should contact Program Director Carole Kirschner before the recommendation deadline (September 14, 2020). This process is only applicable to 2020 applicants. The program will then contact the recommender for any potential updates.

If an applicant has applied before, there’s no need to provide new references, though the applicant is welcome to do so. They can simply list the references from the previous year's application.

The above procedures have been implemented to streamline the re-application process and put a minimum of stress on both the candidate and his or her references and recommenders.

Once the recommendation form has been received, (please just one rec form per applicant) or in the case of a re-submission, the recommender has signed off for the current year, the candidate will be sent the URL after September 16, 2020 for the online application and will have four weeks to complete and submit to the Guild. Once applications are reviewed, select candidates are invited for personal interviews. Approximately 25 writers/writing teams will be invited to join the Program.

Evaluation Criteria

Candidates will be evaluated principally on leadership, experience, project development (where relevant) and assessment of immediate need. The spectrum of applicants ranges from current showrunners to novice television writers with active development or picked-up pilots. In making final selections, consideration is given to inclusion in terms of genres, personal backgrounds and industry platforms.

Deadlines

  • Online Recommendation Form: Monday, September 14, 2020
  • Online Application: Thursday, October 15, 2020

If you have any questions concerning the submission process or the Program, please email Program Director Carole Kirschner at the Showrunner Training Program.

FAQ

Am I eligible to apply to the SRTP?

Current-active WGAW or WGAE members in good standing with supervising producer credit or above on a current, dramatic (comedy or drama) television series and/or are a creator with pilot script, pilot or series currently set up at a network, cable channel or streaming service. Writing teams are considered a single entity and are welcome to apply.

Who should submit a recommendation form on my behalf?

A current or recent (2018-2020) showrunner, or executive producer, or a network or studio executive (from the development or current departments). Please only have one recommendation form submitted on your behalf.

Where is the recommendation form and when is it due?

The online recommendation form, linked on the Overview page, is due by Monday, September 14, 2020.

What is the next step after the recommendation form is submitted?

Recommended applicants will receive a link to the online application form on the week of September 14. Those applications are due by Thursday, October 15, 2020.

What is the next step after the application form is submitted?

All submission materials will be reviewed and all applicants will be notified as to whether or not they have been selected for interviews during the first three weeks of November.

When does the program begin and how long does it run?

The 2021 SRTP will be presented virtually on the Zoom platform. The class starts at 9 a.m. and goes through until 4 pm.. There are approximately 4 ninety-minute sessions each day, with significant breaks in-between, including a one-hour lunch.

Where does the program take place and how long are the days?

The 2021 Showrunner Training Program begins with a pre-program virtual “get together” so students have a chance to meet one another, on Sunday, January 3, 2021. The main program begins on Saturday, January 9, 2021 and runs six Saturdays, ending February 27,2021 (no class January 15, MLK Day weekend or February 13, Presidents Day weekend).