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Cross a Showrunner, Sleep With Fishes

Do not let the smile fool you.

Charming anecdotes abound in today's Wall Street Journal article about TV writers "revenge," i.e., their willingness to disparage anyone who has ever wronged them on national television. Among the best are those that tell of showrunners using intimidation tactics as artfully as a Coreleone. "When actors are acting up, you call them into a story session and say, 'You know, there's a very high mortality rate lately on the streets of Chicago' or wherever the show is set," a USA exec told the paper. David E. Kelley once sent the difficult cast of medical drama Chicago Hope a script with a never-filmed scene in which one of doctors gave "a lecture about appreciating their profession and not being greedy." And then there's Law & Order's Dick Wolf, notorious non-broker of bullshit, who "learned an important lesson when he saw Lyndon B. Johnson take the oath of office after John F. Kennedy's assassination: 'Everyone's replaceable.'" [WSJ]