Popular TV Shows Going Through Major Behind-the-Scenes Changes Next Season
If you’ve ever tuned into the new season of your favorite show, only to find that something feels off about it, there may have been some behind-the-scenes changes take place during the hiatus that you didn’t even know about.
One of the biggest such changes that can happen is the replacement of the showrunner. This person oversees the entire creative direction of the series, and so getting a new one can often make or break a show. In some cases, as with Doctor Who, new showrunners have improved things. In other cases, as with The West Wing, there was a dramatic decline in quality after a new showrunner came on board.
Over a dozen shows on the air right now are going to feel different when they return, as they, too, have replaced their showrunners. Here’s a look at those shows that are going through behind-the-scenes changes, as well as some information about who’s now steering the ship. One of the shows we’ll be talking about is among the most popular on TV right now (page 7).
1. Star Trek: Discovery
- Alex Kurtzman is replacing Gretchen J. Berg and Aaron Harberts as showrunner.
For the first season of Star Trek: Discovery, the showrunners were Gretchen J. Berg and Aaron Harberts. But they will not be coming back for Season 2. According to The Hollywood Reporter, this is largely because Berg and Harberts had allegedly become verbally abusive to the show’s writing staff.
The new showrunner is Alex Kurtzman, who is hardly a newcomer. He’s one of the creators of the show and produced the first season. Kurtzman also wrote the first two rebooted Star Trek films, Star Trek (2009) and Star Trek Into Darkness.
Another behind-the-scenes change is that Akiva Goldsman, who was a producer on the first season and wrote several episodes, won’t be returning.
Next: This Netflix series is changing things up.
- Erik Oleson is replacing Doug Petrie and Marco Ramirez as showrunner.
The first two seasons of Daredevil already had two different showrunners. Season 1’s showrunner was Steven S. DeKnight, while Season 2 had Doug Petrie and Marco Ramirez.
For Season 3, the series will once again be switching things up. The new showrunner is Erik Oleson, according to Deadline.
Oleson is a newcomer to Daredevil. He was previously a writer and producer for Arrow and The Man in the High Castle.
Next: Some fans feel there’s no point of this show going on without its original showrunners.
3. American Gods
- Jesse Alexander and Neil Gaiman are replacing Bryan Fuller and Michael Green as showrunners.
Bryan Fuller can’t seem to finish a TV show, and American Gods is no exception. Although Season 1 of the Starz series very much belonged to Fuller and Michael Green, they’re not coming back for Season 2.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, this was for two main reasons. One, Fuller and Green kept battling with the studio over the show’s budget; they wanted a lot more money for Season 2, and Starz wasn’t willing to spend that on a fairly niche show. Two, Fuller and Green also battled with Neil Gaiman, as they apparently wanted Season 2 to stray even further from his novel.
For Season 2, the showrunners will be Jesse Alexander and Nail Gaiman himself, according to Deadline. Alexander didn’t work on American Gods‘ first season, but he has previously written for Alias, Heroes, Hannibal, and Star Trek: Discovery.
Next: This series’ showrunner leaving marks the end of an era.
4. Doctor Who
- Chris Chibnall is replacing Steven Moffat as showrunner.
Of course, Doctor Who is one of those shows where change is not only not a bad thing but is quite vital to its continued success. A new actor comes in to put their spin on The Doctor every few years, and new showrunners are constantly putting their creative stamp on the show as well.
Since Season 5, Doctor Who‘s showrunner has been Steve Moffat, and he has helped define the new look and feel of this era of the series. But Moffat left alongside Peter Capaldi at the end of Season 10.
For Season 11, the new showrunner will be Chris Chibnall. He has previously written a number of episodes, including 42, The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood, and Dinosaurs on a Spaceship. Chibnall says he was hired to be bold, and he promises he has a five-year plan.
Next: This show is losing someone who has been there since the very first season.
- Beth Schwartz is replacing Wendy Mericle and Marc Guggenheim as showrunner.
Wendy Mericle has been the co-showrunner of Arrow since Season 4, and Marc Guggenheim has been there since the very beginning; he’s actually the co-creator of the show.
But both Mericle and Guggenheim will step back as showrunners for the upcoming seventh season. Replacing them will be Beth Schwartz, according to Deadline.
While this sudden change might make fans nervous, rest assured that Schwartz is no newbie. She’s been there in the writer’s room of Arrow since Season 1, becoming executive story editor in Season 3 and co-producer in Season 4.
Guggenheim will stick around as an executive consultant.
Next: This show will also be losing someone who has been there since the start.
6. Legends of Tomorrow
- Phil Klemmer will be the sole showrunner, with Marc Guggenheim is leaving.
Speaking of The CW’s superhero shows, Legends of Tomorrow will also be impacted by Marc Guggenheim’s decision to step back.
Guggenheim previously served as the co-showrunner of Legends of Tomorrow as well alongside Phil Klemmer. However, for the fourth season, Klemmer will be the only showrunner, according to Deadline.
This won’t be quite as dramatic a change as the rest, though, as Legends is at least keeping one of its showrunners.
Next: One of the most popular shows on TV gets a huge behind-the-scenes change.
7. The Walking Dead
- Angela Kang is replacing Scott Gimple as showrunner.
The Walking Dead has had a number of showrunners over the years. Frank Darabont ran the first season, but Glen Mazzara took over for Season 2 and 3. Then, Scott Gimple took over in Season 4, and he’s been running the series ever since.
Now, for Season 9, Angela Kang will be replacing Scott Gimple as showrunner. She’s been working on the show as a writer and story editor since Season 2.
However, that’s not because Gimple is being fired but because he’s actually being promoted. He’s now going to be the chief content officer of the whole franchise, meaning he’ll be overseeing both The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead, according to Variety.
Next: The creator of this show was embroiled in scandal.
8. Fuller House
- Steve Baldikoski and Bryan Behar are replacing Jeff Franklin as showrunner.
Jeff Franklin is the man responsible for creating Full House and its spinoff, Fuller House; he has served as showrunner on the Netflix show for its entire run.
But following complaints about inappropriate work conduct, Warner Bros. TV will not be bringing Franklin back for the fourth season, according to Variety.
Instead, the new showrunners will be Steve Baldikoski and Bryan Behar, according to Deadline. Both of them were previously co-executive producers on the show.
Next: Some fans actually celebrate this change.
9. Iron Fist
- Raven Metzner is replacing Scott Buck as showrunner.
A lot of Marvel fans were not particularly happy with the first season of Iron Fist, so this change might actually come as good news.
Scott Buck will not return as the showrunner for Season 2 of the Netflix show. Instead, Raven Metzner will take over, according to Deadline.
This will be an example of bringing in a fresh new voice, as Metzner did not work on the first season. However, he has previously written for shows like Sleepy Hollow and Heroes Reborn. He also has previous experience with Marvel, writing the 2005 movie Elektra.
Next: This series is losing its showrunner, who has been there since Season 1.
- Brett Mahoney is replacing Ilene Chaiken as showrunner.
Ilene Chaiken has been the showrunner of Fox’s Empire since the first season, but she left in early 2018 to work on a new pilot for the network, according to Deadline.
Brett Mahoney is officially the new showrunner for Season 5, Deadline reports. Mahoney actually took over for Chaiken during the second half of Season 4, while Chaiken was working on her pilot. So if you liked the back half of this past season of Empire, you’re in good hands for next year.
Next: This show is bringing in a newcomer for Season 2.
11. SEAL Team
- John Glenn is replacing Ed Redlich as showrunner.
CBS’ new show SEAL Team performed quite well during its first season, which was run by Ed Redlich. However, he’s not returning for Season 2.
For Season 2, the new showrunner will be John Glenn, according to Deadline. Glenn didn’t work on the first season, but he wrote for the miniseries Hatfields & McCoys. He also wrote the screenplay for the Shia LaBeouf movie Eagle Eye.
Next: This show is making a big change for an unfortunate reason.
12. NCIS: New Orleans
- Chris Silber is replacing Brad Kern as showrunner.
Brad Kern has been the showrunner on NCIS New Orleans since the second season. But in February 2018, controversy erupted when Variety reported that he had been investigated for allegations of sexual harassment, discrimination against women, and racist comments. Variety’s sources alleged that even though CBS said it took appropriate action, Kern’s behavior continued after the investigation.
In the aftermath of this controversy, Chris Silber will replace Kern as showrunner, according to Deadline. Silber previously worked on the show as an executive producer.
Deadline reported in May that Silber wouldn’t actually be leaving the series entirely, though; he will still serve as a consultant. Then, in June 2018, CBS hired an outside consultant to look into allegations against Kern, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Next: This show is going through more changes than any other.
- Brett Matthews is replacing Michael Gans and Richard Register as showrunner.
MTV’s Scream will be like a completely different show when it returns for Season 3. For one, literally the entire cast is leaving; the third season will get a new setting and a whole new lineup of characters.
As if that wasn’t enough change, the showrunners are also being replaced. Season 2 was run by Michael Gans and Richard Register, but Brett Matthews replaces them for Season 3, according to Deadline. He didn’t work on Scream before this, but he worked on The Vampire Diaries and Supernatural.
This is actually the second major showrunner change Scream has had; every season so far has been run by a different set of people.
Next: This Amazon show is bringing in a fresh voice.
- Samantha Corbin-Miller is replacing Matt Cirulnick as showrunner.
On the AXN/Amazon series Absentia, Matt Cirulnick was the showrunner for the first season. But for Season 2, Samantha Corbin-Miller will replace him, according to Deadline.
Corbin-Miller did not work on the first season of the show at all. She most recently was the co-executive producer on ABC’s Conviction. She has also written for shows like Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Lie to Me.
Next: This new 2018 show is already going through some changes.
15. The Chi
- Ayanna Floyd Davis is replacing Elwood Reid as showrunner.
Showtime’s new 2018 show The Chi will return for a second season, but not without undergoing some changes.
According to Deadline, Ayanna Floyd Davis is joining as executive producer and showrunner for the second season. She previously worked as a producer and writer for shows like Empire and Hannibal.
Don’t worry, though; creator and producer Lena Waithe isn’t going anywhere.
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