The entertainment industry is being turned upside down by a new breed of executive. It's someone who doesn't wear a suit, doesn't keep normal office hours, and is absorbed in entirely fictional worlds. Yet, this person has become the rainmaker of an industry that is being revolutionised. The title of the executive provides the clue to the power invested in the role: showrunner. This is the person who has both creative and managerial control over a TV series, who has become central to the success of blockbuster shows on Netflix and other streaming platforms. Showrunners have been with us for some time, though they were more typically called executive producers at the TV networks. However, as hit series have become increasingly important on streaming platforms, especially on Netflix, the role of the showrunner in the longevity of shows has moved to the front and centre of content strategy. Take Breaking Bad, which ended its five-season run in 2013: showrunner Vince Gilligan is credite...

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