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The TV Showrunner's Roadmap by Neil Landau

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4Deliver the Verdict

In the old days, the verdict at the climax of an episode would strictly adhere to a tidy resolution because that’s what TV audiences wanted: truth, justice, and closure. A good TV series was like putting on a comfortable pair of slippers; viewers wanted to be entertained, not overly taxed with moral complexity. Networks were notoriously controversy-averse. The bad guys always got caught. Crime never paid offwith anything but a prison sentence. Scumbags were always prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Nice guys and gals didn’t always succeed at their missions, but love and friendship always saw them through in the end.

But then something happened: as technology progressed, audiences became more restless. Attention spans ...

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