Showrunners in training at Writers Guild

Program will provide skills to senior-level writers

The Writers Guild of America West has kicked off its inaugural showrunner training program with CBS chief Leslie Moonves and program co-founder John Wells on hand.

Six-week program, which launched Saturday at WGA West headquarters, was mandated as part of the guild’s 2004 contract with studios and networks. It’s aimed at providing showrunner skills to senior-level writers and writers with pilot scripts.

Program chair Jeff Melvoin (“In Justice”) gave the 22 participants an overview of showrunner training culture and Phil Rosenthal (“Everybody Loves Raymond”) covered time management strategies.

Moonves offered a statement of support, saying, “I’ve been a proponent of showrunners from day one. It’s not the pilot, it’s episode No. 20 that matters. In short, this program is so essential.”

Program also included a panel discussion with Stephen J. Cannell, Michael Gleason (creator-exec producer of “Remington Steele”) and Diane English (creator-exec producer of “Murphy Brown”).

Guild received more than 100 applications for the program. Comedy participants include Patricia Breen, Josh Bycel and Jonathan Fener, Brian Burns, Nick Holly, Darlene Hunt, Susan Jaffee, Lori Lakin, Angela Nissel, Chris Peterson and Bryan Moore and Carla Waddles.

Drama participants are Greg Ball and Steve Blackman, Jordan Budde, Sarah Goldfinger, Ted Humphrey, Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, Sheila Lawrence, Glen Mazzara, Charles Murray, Michael Reisz, John Stephens, Bragi Schut and Craig Sweeny.

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