The Showrunner

Par (auteur) Kim Moritsugu
Catégories: Littérature générale, Littérature et ouvrages de fiction, Roman humoristique
Éditeur: Dundurn Press
Paperback : 9781459740976, 304 pages, Juin 2018


Stacey was in her office with the door closed, reading a
script, when she heard her producing partner, Ann, bray
her name from outside her door. “Stacey! You in there?”
She marked the spot that she’d read to and pictured Ann steamrolling
down the hallway. Three, two, one: Ann flung the door open
and stepped inside. “There you are. I want you to meet someone.”
Stacey did not grimace at the interruption. She made her eyes
go bright and friendly and held up the script. “Hold on, I’m halfway
through the latest draft of episode 5.”
“I’ll be quick. And that script is fine; I already approved it.”
If Stacey were keeping track of Ann’s little put-downs, that would
be the first of the day, the fifth this week. On a Tuesday morning.
Ann pulled in from the hallway a slim, pretty actress whose
credits included the lead in a low-budget horror movie, a four-episode
guest arc on Gossip Girl, and featured roles in the ensemble
casts of two short-lived cable shows. She had also done a TV spot
in the previous year for The Olive Garden, as a perky waitress, if
Stacey was not mistaken. But what was she doing in the office?
Ann said, “Jenna, I’d like you to meet Stacey Sampson, the
second woman in Two Women Walking, and co-creator of The
Benjamins. Stacey, this is —”
The second woman? Make that slight number six. Stacey said,
“Jenna Kuyt, isn’t it?”, stood, shook hands, and hoped Ann had
not gone behind her back and cast this Jenna without Stacey’s consent.
She had nothing against the girl, but there were protocols in
place for who did what when and consulted with whom. Protocols
Ann was inclined to forget.
“It’s such a treat to meet you!” Jenna said. “I was just telling
Ann how much I loved Mothers and Daughters, and you worked
on it, too, right?”
“I did, yeah. And hey, I liked your work in East Side, West
“You mean you were one of the ten people who saw an episode
before it was cancelled?”
Jenna was enough of an actress that Stacey couldn’t tell if the
modesty shtick was false or true. What she could see was that
Jenna’s face was a study in the golden ratio that defines physical
beauty. Up close, she was breathtaking, in a pan-ethnic, oliveskinned,
green-eyed, auburn-haired kind of way. Like a citizen of
the future, an ambassador of the planet.
Next to Ann, she looked like Baby New Year alongside
Mother Time.
“But thanks,” Jenna said. “It’s good to know someone watched
the show other than my parents and my boyfriend.”
Okay. What was Jenna doing there? And why were Stacey’s calf
muscles tensed, and her heart rate elevated?
Ann said, “Jenna’s going to be my assistant while Candace is
on maternity leave.” And to Jenna: “Stacey is number one on my
contact list. We call each other eight times a day, minimum. And
text or message countless more times. Right, Stacey?”
“Sometimes,” Stacey said, “we even speak to face-to-face, like
we’re doing now.”
Jenna smiled politely, Ann rambled on about the nature of
their partnership, and Stacey wondered what Ann was up to with
this hire. Maybe Jenna’s acting career had slumped (The Olive
Garden, for Christ’s sake) from C-list to off-list in the last year,
and she was reduced to doing temp work, so why not become an
assistant to an industry heavyweight like Ann? And it would be
just like Ann to take pleasure in bossing around — she would call
it mentoring — a pretty, semi-known actress. That was probably
what was happening: the two of them were engaged in mutual
exploitation, and Stacey’s fight-or-flight response was an overreaction.
“I should get back to this script,” she said. “Welcome aboard,
Jenna. I hope you like it here.”
“I’m sure I will. It’ll be fun to learn how the business works
from the other side of the camera.”
Yeah, non-stop fun was what they had, all right. Stacey said,
“Ann, a quick question — what happened to that kitchen argument
scene between Ryan and his dad? I didn’t see it in this draft.”
“I moved it to ep 6. And like I said, don’t worry about that script.”
“Me, not worry? Is that even possible?”
Ann ignored that, and on her way out, said to Jenna, “Stacey
started in the business as my assistant a few years back. I took her on
straight from college, and now her office is almost as big as mine.”
Ann’s version of the how-they’d-met story positioned her as a
wise old bitch and Stacey as a young, eager-to-please pup plucked
from a litter of interns and trained until she became Ann’s top dog.
It was true enough that Stacey didn’t need to hear it again. She got
up to close the door and heard Jenna ask, “So, which one of you is
the showrunner?”
Good question. Stacey waited, doorknob in hand, to hear
Ann’s reply.
“I am. On the creative side, anyway. I’m the Оminence grise
around here.”
“The what?”
“The head honcho.”
Stacey shook her head. Ann would take full credit until forever
for their combined work, and for the work of the three hundred
people that their production company employed to produce The
Benjamins, a primetime dramedy (the inevitable tagline: “It’s All
About Them”) centred on the hopes, dreams, and weaknesses of
an interracial L.A. showbiz family.
Glory-taking was Ann’s way, and there was no denying that
her track record of thirty-one years in television — take this in:
she’d started in TV the year Stacey was born — had helped sell
the show to the network. But The Benjamins concept had been
all Stacey’s to begin with. She’d dreamt up the concept during
her non-existent spare time while producing Ann’s last show. She
built and devised the storylines, characters, and arcs for the entire
first season and put together a complete show bible before she
even brought the idea to Ann. Before Ann had tweaked it and
assumed ownership of it.
Ann said, “Stacey’s a rock, but her role is to look after the
logistical side of things. She’s got an accountant’s mind — she’s all
about dotting i’s and crossing t’s.”
Stacey eased her office door shut. The secret to survival when
working with Ann was to pick out the occasional tiny gold nugget
of approval from the dross she blurted out daily. So Stacey would
take being called accountant-ish and rock-like as a compliment,
and she would get back to work.
As of that August morning, two episodes, post-pilot, of the
eight-episode first-season order of The Benjamins were in the can,
the fourth was in production, the premiere was slated to air in a
month, and Stacey was so busy she had to compartmentalize. She
picked up the script and tried to focus in on it, but she couldn’t concentrate
— her mind skittered and bounced over the words on the
page. She lifted her head, dropped her jaw, and placed two fingers
on the pressure point beneath her collarbone. She breathed in and
out and ordered her brain to calm itself, to de-tense. That was better.
When she’d finished reading the script, she made some notes
on it and gave it to her assistant, Topher, to distribute, though
without employing any of the techniques Ann had used in Stacey’s
assistant days. There were no imperial summons or hollered orders,
and no throwing of papers across the room. Instead, Stacey got up
from her desk, opened her office door, and waited until Topher finished
his phone call before asking him to please pass the script on.

La description

The hiring of a new assistant triggers a power struggle between aging TV show creator Ann Dalloni and her protégée turned producing partner Stacey McCreedy in The Showrunner, a suspenseful, darkly comic novel that gives a modern spin to the classic showbiz themes of female ambition and competition between generations. Topical current women’s issues and timeless generational conflicts come wrapped in a fun fiction package. To learn more about this publisher, click here: http://bit. ly/2u4bIyE


  • Commended, Dewey Divas and the Dudes Spring 2018 Pick 2018
  • Commended, Loan Stars June 2018 Pick 2018


I am addicted to Kim Moritsugu’s writing. I love her clever wit, her quick, light pacing, her chick lit that’s written with flawless literary skill. The Showrunner is my favourite of her books yet … the plot is so delicious and had me hooked from beginning to end.

- Robin Spano, author of the Clare Vengel Undercover novels

Once you start, you won't be able to stop as it compulsively drives you forward with its dark humor and jaw dropping moments.

- Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

The Showrunner has all the drama of All About Eve and the attention to detail of The Devil Wears Prada. Moritsugu nails the California sun-drenched anorexic ethos. She rivals Nathanael West’s fabulous descriptions of Hollywood where the hopefuls become twisted by their own ambitions.

- Catherine Gildiner, bestselling author of Too Close to the Falls and Coming Ashore

The Showrunner is a sophisticated, compelling, and surprisingly complex drama

- Foreword Reviews

The Showrunner is a sophisticated, compelling, and surprisingly complex drama.

- Foreword Reviews

In The Showrunner, Moritsugu has written a compelling, suspenseful tale that bares the tawdry aspects of showbiz politics with more sophistication and drama than it really deserves.

- Winnipeg Free Press

Lots of fun.

- Fictional Fix

You’re in for a thoroughly entertaining ride.

- Niagara Life

Another deftly crafted and riveting novel by an author with a genuine flair for inherently engaging and unfailingly entertaining narrative driven storytelling.

- Midwest Book Review

Once you get started reading this novel, it's really hard to quit and hold on for the ending when things take a turn for the, um, murderous.

- 49th Shelf

Moritsugu pulls no punches in this delightfully twisty tale . .. This Joan Collins-meets-Lauren Weisberger is a beach read no-brainer.

- Booklist