At some point I realized that whenever I read an interview with a television showrunner (the person overall in charge of a show), they are often photographed for the interview on a couch, sometimes sitting but often lying down or otherwise draped across it.
I suspect this is because the photographer is sent to take a picture in the showrunner’s office or on set, or perhaps their home, and all of those locations are likely to have a couch. The photographer looks for something more interesting than just the person sitting at their desk, and the couch is a natural draw. The search for something that doesn’t feel cliché ends up creating a new cliché.
I’ve collected many examples of this over the years. Let’s take a look at some.
Mad Men showrunner Matthew Weiner is the king of being horizontal on couches. Here’s one such photo by Art Streiber for Newsweek:
And here he is again on another couch, this time photographed by Bryce Duffy:
And a third Matt Weiner on a couch, photographed by Anne Cusack:
Here’s Community showrunner Dan Harmon stretched out on a couch, photographed by Joe Pugliese for Wired:
And a couch for disgraced Buffy the Vampire Slayer showrunner Joss Whedon:
I don’t know if it’s technically correct to say that Catastrophe co-star, co-creator, and co-writer Sharon Horgan was the showrunner on that show (can there be co-showrunners?), but this couch photo by Jude Edgington is too good to omit.
I guess there can be co-showrunners. Look, here are Black-ish showrunners Kenny Smith and Jonathan Groff on a couch together:
They took over from showrunner Kenya Barris. I don’t have a good photo of Kenya Barris on a couch. But there’s an amazing photo of him sitting in a chair casually as though he doesn’t notice that he’s holding an awesome owl right here.
A row of connected seats is kind of a couch, right? Here’s Lost and Bates Motel showrunner Carlton Cuse sitting across a row of seats, by Terence Patrick:
Remember Orange is the New Black? Here’s showrunner Jenji Kohan, photographed on a couch by Jay L. Clandenin:
Look! Up in a couch! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Supergirl showrunner Greg Berlanti, photographed on a couch by Damon Cesarez:
And here’s New Girl showrunner Elizabeth Meriwether on a couch:
And Crazy Ex-Girlfriend showrunners Rachel Bloom and Aline Brosh McKenna, sitting comfortably on a couch photographed by Emily Berl:
Jason Katims created the shows Parenthood, Roswell, and more. Here he is on a couch:
Is a bench with a cushion an outdoor couch? Because here’s Dead to Me showrunner Liz Feldman on one:
And finally, Noah Hawley, showrunner for Fargo, Legion, Bones, etc., sitting on various tufted couches:
I have so many more. Too many. But I’ve hit the length limit for my newsletter.
Maybe you’re thankful for that.
Thanks for looking at my collection of Showrunners On Couches. See you next week!