Co-Executive Producer? Or Just Busy Work?

Speaking of showrunners, I’ve made a point in the past about the tendency of shows to fill out their staffs with writers who usually create their own shows, who spend time working for someone else until they can get another new show off the ground. This helps a production company because they get more for their money (by putting their contracted writers to work between projects) but can also be a sign of a show that has too many cooks, since some of the writers are arguably more qualified to run the show than their boss.

Anyway, I can’t think of a better illustration of this type of assignment than the news about what Bryan Fuller is doing after the cancellation of Pushing Daisies. He’s going to sign a contract with Universal to develop new projects, and while he’s coming up with ideas, he’ll go back to work on Heroes — but only for the last “five or six” episodes of the season. Theoretically he might continue with Heroes if there’s a fourth season. But I think we can all see the numerous flaws in that theory.

Fuller was a co-executive producer and writer on the first season of Heroes (again, between projects) and left to do Pushing Daisies; his departure may have had something to do with the second season’s Epic Fail, though it’s certainly not the whole reason.

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