We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

How does the Creator of a TV Show Maintain Creative Control?

By G. Wiesen
Updated Mar 06, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseTour is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseTour, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

There are a number of different ways in which the creator of a TV show can maintain creative control, though none of them are guaranteed. One of the best ways is to find a network who will offer the creator of the show a contract that explicitly provides him or her with a great deal of control. The creator of the show can also ensure that he or she becomes the showrunner on the program, which will grant him or her greater control as well. It can also be easier to maintain creative control if the creator has a proven track record in the television or film industry.

Creative control over a TV show typically comes down to who is able to make the major decisions regarding the production of a show. This can include everything from writing scripts and hiring other writers to casting the actors and actresses, approving locations, and choosing the music used on the show. A great deal of this creative control is granted, to the creator or to others, by the contract established between the creator and the network producing the show.

One of the best ways for the creator of a TV show to maintain creative control is through the contract he or she has with the network. A show creator can shop his idea around to different networks until he finds one that will offer him enough control over the show. The creator should also try to become the showrunner for the show, as this position establishes a great deal of how a show is produced. A showrunner typically has tremendous creative control over a TV show and can control the direction the show takes over numerous seasons.

TV networks are also less likely to give a first-time creator a great deal of creative control over his or her TV series. Someone with a proven track record, usually consisting of one or more highly successful shows, will have a better chance of keeping control over a project. If a network believes someone can create a profitable show, then the network is more likely to let that person work unhindered. Even this is not a guarantee, however, and falling ratings or loss of advertising revenue can lead to a loss of creative control, change of showrunner on a program, and eventual cancellation.

WiseTour is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By indigomoth — On Dec 21, 2013

@Ana1234 - I think Jim Henson actually owned his own studio after years of working behind the scenes in other shows. So there was no way he was going to fire himself.

And I actually think that might be the way to go if you want complete creative control. Leave the big budget behind and finance your own projects.

By Ana1234 — On Dec 21, 2013

@KoiwiGal - I don't know if it's impossible. If you look at the creative model that Jim Henson had with his shows, I don't think he would ever have been replaced, because he was basically synonymous with the brand.

And that happens with other shows as well. I know when the Community showrunner was replaced the fans were outraged and continued to lobby for him to be brought back until the studio relented.

I wish the same had happened with other shows, but often executive producers think they know better than the audience.

By KoiwiGal — On Dec 20, 2013

This seems to be almost impossible to do for some reason. There are plenty of shows which seemed to be successful but they have still had the showrunner replaced against their will.

I can see it happening if they want to leave the show, but generally a showrunner who has a vision for a show will want to stay at least until the end of that vision.

Often it goes downhill quite a bit after the main person leaves too, which is a shame. I guess it's because they replace them with someone less daring.

WiseTour, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseTour, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.