The Worst Of A TV Writers’ Room by Bruce Ferber

Film Courage: Can you take us to the first day as a showrunner for HOME IMPROVEMENT? What was this like? How are you interacting with writers?

Bruce Ferber, Author/Former Showrunner/Screenwriter: Well, I knew all of the writers. I had either worked with them in previous years or I had hired them myself. Chances are if I hired them myself, I had worked with them maybe on other shows. So that was all easygoing but you know HOME IMPROVEMENT was like a juggernaut. It was a huge show and it was a huge responsibility to be the showrunner and it was my first job as a showrunner.

Once I found out that I had the job, I had spent a ton of time prepping for that first day on the job. How I would handle it? What I would do? What my approach to showrunning would be? I was lucky because I had had a good mentor, the show runner before me was Elliot Shoenman and he had a very precise way of doing it.

I took a lot from him and my goal in running the show was to get people excited about their own ideas, everybody else’s ideas and really make it a fun room. When you make it a fun room and you value the other writers’ ideas, great stuff can happen. Because I had been in the worst of writers’ rooms and the worst writers’ rooms go like this where they have eight writers and one showrunner. The showrunner wants to rewrite everything. All the showrunner wants is people around to spit out stuff and kind of tell him how great he is. This happens way too often. At the end of the day, no matter how much work they do in that room…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).


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