Inside the Office of TNT’s President of Programming Michael Wright

Michael Wright, TNT’s president of programming, clearly loves television. A former actor who transitioned into the executive suite, Wright strives to set a welcoming mood in his spacious Burbank office, with its sweeping view of the Warner Bros. lot. (“Look, there’s Peter Roth’s office,” he jokes. “I wonder what he’s doing now?”) “I’ve always maintained that network executives don’t create hit television shows — really talented showrunners do,” he says. “So the single best thing you can do is create an environment where the Howard Gordons and Steven Bochcos and Steven Spielbergs of the world want to come work with you.”

OH CAPTAIN: Wright keeps his grandfather’s captain’s bars in the credenza behind his desk. “I know it sounds corny, but my grandfather is my hero,” he says. “I never met a human being to this day with a better character, better brain, or a bigger heart. I feel a real personal connection to ‘The Last Ship’ because there’s a teeny part of me that says, my granddaddy would approve.”

MAD “MEN”: The Peabody Award for “Men of a Certain Age” sits proudly atop his bookshelf. “It broke my heart when we canceled it,” he says. “Sometimes it’s not an irresponsible or illogical decision to stick with a show that is that good. It’s an act of faith. It was as close as I’ve ever been to art on TV.”

JACK ATTACK: Wright’s a father of five (“all ridiculous overachievers”), but it’s a photo of 5-year-old Jack that faces his desk. “I look at that photo of Jack every morning because these are awesome jobs to have,” he says. “Anybody who says otherwise is in denial or has forgotten how lucky we all are to do this for a living. He grounds me every day.”

GOING GREEN: And then there’s Kermit, perched in a corner. “He’s the outlier,” he admits. “He’s a reminder of ‘Don’t be a dick’.”

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