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talking heads

Seven Showrunners Talk Character Deaths, Taking Notes, and Cursing

In the run-up to the Emmys, the Hollywood Reporter is moderating a series of roundtables, akin to the ones they did in the run-up to the Oscars. Last week they spoke with potential best drama actress nominees, which, unfortunately, wasn’t all that interesting (though there were some very glossy hairdos!), but the entirely male showrunner panel is a bit more lively. Walking Dead's Frank Darabont, Parenthood's Jason Katims, Southland and Shameless's John Wells, Men of a Certain Age's Mike Royce, Justified's Graham Yost, Sons of Anarchy's Kurt Sutter, and Boardwalk Empire's Terence Winter shoot the shit about budgets and money (what they've had to cut, what they make of Matt Weiner's contract talks, and how AMC is asking Darabont to cut his budget now — "If you have an asset, why would you punish it?"); taking notes (sometimes it's not so terrible!); and the pain of killing characters off. And it ends on a great joke by Winter about the perfect ending of Boardwalk Empire: Nucky Thompson lives long enough to walk into a diner in New Jersey and pop Tony Soprano.