SundanceTV (ended 2014)
Outrageous success. Horrible mistakes. Last minute changes. Creators of today's most ground-breaking TV shows tell all in the place where it all starts: The Writers' Room.
Sundance Channel gives viewers an in-depth look at the process of creating quality hit shows. Host Jim Rash sits down with showrunners, writers, and cast for some of cable and the networks' acclaimed shows to find out how it's done.
Broadcast History (All times E/P):
Season 2, Episodes 4-6 – Monday 11 pm
Season 2, Episodes 1-3 – Friday 9:00 pm
Season 1 – Monday 10:00 pm
Season one's set was a mock-up of a typical writers' room. It had dry-erase and cork boards with plot cards on the back wall interspersed with framed promotional posters from the show under discussion. The set had dark, grayish-blue walls, a hardwood floor, and bright lighting. The host – in a suit – sat with the talent on executive chairs at a conference table. A writer or executive from Entertainment Weekly participated in the last segment of the episode called "The Last Word with Entertainment Weekly", where the reporter asked general questions of the talent for fans not as interested in the process. Before the main titles, clips or video from the relevant show played with excerpts from the upcoming discussion.
Season two brought a new set, and a new attitude. There was no contract with Entertainment Weekly anymore – reporters from different online or print magazines were given a seat for the full episode, giving analyses and opinions. The new, relaxed tone was complemented by a set that looked like a closed bar (brick walls, bar stools, and liquor bottles; but, strangely, also a classic spotlight and film camera), in front of which were sofas and tables where Rash and the talent sat. Rash's wardrobe was more casual, with sweaters and patterned shirts in warm colors. There were now man-of-the-street opinions before the main titles, and questions to the writers about specific scenes during the episode. The final segment winnowed down the talent to just one or two for a wrap-up.
2014 Emmy Awards (66th)
Nominated – Outstanding Informational Series or Specialmoreless