'Brothers and Sisters,' 'Dirty Sexy Money'
Name: Greg Berlanti
Current Shows: “Brothers and Sisters,” fall pickups “Dirty Sexy Money” and “Eli Stone” (ABC).
Resume: “Dawson’s Creek,” “Everwood,” “Jack and Bobby”
What shows have influenced your career: ” ‘Northern Exposure’ and ‘Picket Fences’ in the early ’90s showed me that TV could be sort of different and go to really crazy and wonderful and magical places. And I was a huge fan of ‘My So-Called Life’ — it showed me what emotion TV was capable of creating.”
Most difficult aspect of being a producer: “Probably letting go…. When you’ve been doing it long enough you can foresee problems before they arise. You’ve got to let them happen, actually — that’s how the dialogue is ultimately begun between the network and the studio and the people who are running the shows. Let mistakes happen sometimes, just so people can learn.”
When do you find the time to write: “I do all of my writing between 6 and 10 in the morning. My creative brain shifts into producer brain for the rest of the day.”
Is staying under budget a weekly struggle: “Always, and with a new series in particular. It’s really tough because you don’t know the recipe for a great show yet, so you’re trying to figure out what’s the best version we can make at the lowest cost possible. Usually people don’t figure that out until episode five or six.”
Favorite shows besides your own: “I’m definitely loving the last year of ‘The Sopranos.’ I don’t think it could be going out any better. And I loved ‘Heroes’ this year. It’s like soap opera for boys.”
Personal gratification: “I like that being the boss you get to set the mood of the workplace. It’s a double-edged sword…but you can’t ever blame anybody else but yourself for having a bad day. There’s always a certain amount of dysfunction you cannot control, but you can control the general tone and making sure that everyone feels like they really have a place at the table to do their best work.”