Q: Who Runs TV?

A: Showrunners.

Showrunners are the writer-producers who come up with the concept for a TV show, create a pilot, sell it to the network, staff and cast it, cheerlead it through pick-up and then guide the increasingly complex plot lines from season to season. It’s a tough job. Only an elite few are trusted by the networks to do that job, and, at this time of year, they’re busy bringing their Fall 2013 ideas to the negotiating table.

The Hollywood Reporter’s latest issue is dedicated to showrunners and all aspects of what they do with their 5th annual list of the Top TV Showrunners.

THR’s Top 50 Showrunners 2012TV’s most influential writer-producers come clean about the credits they’d like scrubbed from their résumés, their most absurd notes from execs, their television mentors and the ways they cure writer’s block.