New York Magazine

Skip to content, or skip to search.

Skip to content, or skip to search.

Who’s Running the Show?



The X-Files

The first show I worked on made me want to work in TVI was a fan before I was a writer. Watching it, I realized how truly cinematic television could be.
Vince Gilligan

Late Night With David Letterman

He was my hero as a kid, and I loved SNL and Cheers. The Trojan horse that got me in was that Sam Malone played for the Red Sox. But I ended up loving every character.
Mike Schur

The Simpsons

I learned basic storytelling from all those crazy, violent Hanna Barbera cartoons. And I remember watching The Simpsons and thinking, Wow, it would be fun to sit in a room and write those voices.
Kurt Sutter

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

I was writing films and I adopted a baby and was stuck at home. I watched every episode of Buffy and 24 all at once. I realized TV was where character development was.
Shonda Rhimes

The West Wing

The West Wing brought auteurism to TV. And The Sopranos’ first season was a turning point: Feature films were just starting to slide, and TV was becoming the place where adventurous stuff was done.
Robert King

Hill Street Blues

There were ambitious shows before it, but Hill Street bucked the tradition of stand-alone episodes and wove its characters’ lives through satisfying weekly stories.
Graham Yost

Late Night With Conan O’Brien

Craig and I were college seniors in ’96 when we started watching Late Night With Conan O’Brien. We had no idea what to do with our lives. The Masturbating Bear changed everything.
Carter Bays


I wanted to do comedy but didn’t want to just write jokes. M.A.S.H. showed how to mix goofy with life-or-death stakes.
Bill Lawrence


It had an intriguing darkness in its DNA: a washed-up relief pitcher and ex-alcoholic (who owns a bar!) surrounded by people who drink all day. And yet we understood and cared about them all.
Craig Thomas

Current Issue
Subscribe to New York

Give a Gift