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October 8, 2015

'Talking TV' Podcast With Writer/Producer Shawn Ryan ('Terriers,' 'Ride-Along,' 'The Shield')

by Maureen Ryan, posted Sep 27th 2010 6:30PM
This week, Ryan McGee and I are extremely pleased to bring you a special edition of the 'Talking TV with Ryan & Ryan' podcast. It's more accurate to call it 'Talking TV with Ryan & Ryan & Ryan' because Shawn Ryan, executive producer of FX's very enjoyable 'Terriers' and the mid-season Fox drama 'Ride-Along,' joined us for the hourlong chat.

Ryan, who created the landmark FX drama 'The Shield' and has also worked on 'The Unit,' 'Lie to Me,' 'Angel' and 'Nash Bridges,' gave us insight into the creative processes behind his past, current and upcoming shows, and talked about the general challenges of creating quality television (yes, Fox's struggling drama 'Lone Star' did come up).

My favorite part of the podcast is his thought-provoking list of 'Five Things That Bother Showrunners.' I can pretty much guarantee that some things on that list will take you by surprise.

As usual, you can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or if you're not an iTunes fan, you can listen to the podcasts or grab the MP3 files from this site.

And that's not all: We've also got a 'Mad Men' podcast for you this week, in which Ryan and I talk about Sunday's episode, 'Hands and Knees.'

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November 04 2010 at 5:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Just wanted to add my 2 cents re product placement. I work in tv on the commercial side, and there are some reasons networks don't want to include that can of coke. The biggest is, if you give the milk away for free, no ones gonna buy the cow. Coke pays a LOT of money to end up in simon cowell's hands in front of 20 million people. If they don't need to pay, they won't. In order to monetize product placement, which, if done well, can be an excellent way to finance tv production, you often start with the brand, rather than the show. Wheeties wants to target women 35-44, so they do some product placement with desperate housewives. They've come up with that ad strategy far in advance, and are only interested in targeting that specific group with their money. If the CW comes to them and says we're using wheeties in Hellcats, well, that's not the demo they're targeting.

All of which is not to say there isn't a revenue model there which would allow more realism and help ease traditional advertising budgets for networks...nor that Shawn Ryan is wrong from a creative perspective...just that the revenue model doesn't work that way now.

September 30 2010 at 12:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Really great interview! I think every tv fan should listen to this, it certainly made me think about a lot of things that I had never considered.

The thing that surprised me the most though, was when he said that most people that consider themselves fans only watch 1 out of 3 or 4 episodes. I watch most of my tv on the internet so there's no such thing as "missing an episode". And even for tv, I thought that was pretty high especially for a chanel like FX

September 29 2010 at 1:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I keep trying to watch Terriers, and each time I get easily distracted or fall asleep. Maybe I have watch it when I'm not so tired. The show's name really doesn't help it much on the advertising. And the ads just look like any other crime procedural.

Loved hearing all of Shawn Ryan's thoughts. Very interesting comments about Lost and networks and the 5 complaints, especially how the 5/6 act structure influences the story telling.

I can't imagine how folks who considered themselves regular viewers of the Shield skipped episodes of it?!? Is that why F/X runs those "3 minute catchups" on the weekends for its shows now?

Thanks again for a very interesting interview! (and Mo, you don't talk too much.)

September 29 2010 at 1:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Great to hear Shawn Ryan's comments on television. I really enjoyed the podcast. Thanks. I hope that you are able to check back in with him when "Ride-Along" starts. I have really been enjoying "Terriers" and "The Shield" was one of the best shows ever.

September 29 2010 at 1:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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