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July 28, 2014

Shawn Ryan

Why Is Television Losing Women Writers? Veteran Producers Weigh In

by Maureen Ryan, posted Sep 8th 2011 11:00AM
As the fall TV season approaches, it's worth taking a closer look at the people who have created and written the scripted fare you'll see.

In the 2006-2007 television season, 35 percent of the writers of broadcast network, prime-time programs were women, according to an annual study by San Diego State University's Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film. In the 2010-2011 season, that number had dropped by more than half, to 15 percent. What happened?



Since the latest edition of the annual SDSU study came out two weeks ago, I've posed that question to a dozen experienced television writers and creators, female and male alike. Most of these professionals, who've worked on everything from 'Battlestar Galactica' to 'Sons of Anarchy' to 'Pushing Daisies' to 'Chuck,' were alarmed by the numbers that the Center released.

For some, it confirmed their worst fears. "The situation is getting worse," said one veteran woman writer. "In the '90s, the networks cared more. They don't anymore." For others, it made them re-evaluate gains they thought women had made. "I had certainly perceived the situation as getting better and better for women -- I am rarely the only woman in the writers' room anymore, and I encounter more women at the higher levels," said Jane Espenson ('Once Upon a Time,' 'Torchwood,' 'Buffy,' 'Battlestar Galactica'). "I remember what it was like 20 years ago, and this is not that."

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'Chicago Code' Creator Shawn Ryan Talks About the Show's Demise, the State of TV and What's Next

by Maureen Ryan, posted May 13th 2011 12:45PM
On Thursday, Ryan McGee and I recorded a special edition of the Talking TV with Ryan and Ryan podcast. For the second time, we transformed it into Talking TV with Ryan and Ryan and Ryan -- our special guest was Shawn Ryan, whose Fox show, 'The Chicago Code,' was canceled earlier in the week.

We talked to Ryan for well over an hour, about a variety of topics -- everything from 'Code' to the "tabloidization" of television to 'Game of Thrones' to the chances of a 'Terriers' DVD coming out later this year. I've provided a road map of our conversation below.

"One think that [Fox entertainment president] Kevin [Reilly] said, and I think it's accurate -- he said, 'For some reason, the show just didn't, from the beginning, just generate any kind of controversy or must-see appeal," Ryan noted near the start of our conversation. "It just never became a newsworthy kind of show."

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'The Chicago Code' Series Premiere Recap

by Piet Levy, posted Feb 8th 2011 6:45AM
'The Chicaog Code' S01/E01['The Chicago Code' - 'Pilot']

If you did an inventory of the top creative minds that ushered in The Golden Age of Television, Shawn Ryan would have to be on the top of that list. Ryan's gritty, provocative cop show 'The Shield,' featuring Michael Chiklis as one of the TV's greatest all-time antiheroes, was the first basic cable drama to showcase the kind of cinematic urgency we'd come to expect from movies and HBO. Now we expect nothing less from FX, the network that brought 'The Shield' into our living rooms.

One can expect less, however, from FOX, the network airing Ryan's return to the cop drama, 'The Chicago Code'. It's not that FOX hasn't shown its fair share of solid dramas, it's just that a show on a broadcast network can't explore as many nuanced, dark themes, or get away with as much, as a cable network like FX.

In its first hour, 'Code' wasn't as revelatory as 'The Shield.' But it's definitely ambitious, keen on addressing corruption on top of the standard chases, gun play, detective work and bursts of tough guy bravado. And, as a Chicago guy, it's great to watch a show about Chicago that was actually shot there.

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EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Cast and Creator of 'The Chicago Code' Talk About Taking On the Windy City

by Maureen Ryan, posted Feb 7th 2011 11:15AM
Ten episodes into shooting 'The Chicago Code' (9PM ET Monday, Fox), Matt Lauria was still having a little trouble handcuffing bad guys.

"The cuffing is really hard," said Lauria on the show's Chicago set last November. "Every time I screw it up -- the shirt gets stuck in there or something."

But Lauria ('Friday Night Lights') and Jason Clarke ('Brotherhood'), who play cop partners Caleb Evers and Jarek Wysocki in the Fox drama, received on-the-job training from the show's police advisor, Detective John Folino, said that Lauria's handcuffing skills had improved a lot.

"It was a challenge, but he worked really hard on it," said Folino, a 12-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department.

Lauria wasn't the only one to struggle with those bracelets, at least. It takes hundreds of arrests before slapping on the cuffs is second nature for real police officers, Folino said. And Lauria's eager character, a young detective partnered with the gruff but legendary Wysocki, still has a lot to learn.

"The advantage of working with Jarek Wysocki that he's the best in the business, and you learn from the best," Lauria said. "The disadvantage is there's a lot that's unexpected, and some things might put you at personal risk."

A lot of things put the characters at risk in 'The Chicago Code,' in particular the quest of the city's new police superintendent, Teresa Colvin (Jennifer Beals), to clean up Chicago's notoriously entrenched corruption.

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'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.

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Miss 'The Shield'? Watch Tonight's 'Lie to Me'

by Jason Hughes, posted Aug 16th 2010 4:20PM
'Lie to Me' - 'Pied Piper'Shawn Ryan may have stepped down as showrunner for the upcoming third season of 'Lie to Me' on FOX, but the executive producer still has a trick up his sleeve before he leaves. In tonight's episode, fans of Ryan's 'The Shield' can look forward to guest spots from five -- yes, five -- 'Shield' alums, according to TV Guide.

The episode centers around a married couple, played by Catherine Dent and Benito Martinez, who connect with Lightman and Zoe at the execution of the man accused of killing their son 17 years earlier -- only Lightman isn't so sure they're watching the right man die. That's when Ryan got to pull in some of his other friends. The trail leads to the executed man's brother (David Rees Snell) and ex-girlfriend (Cathy Cahlin Ryan), and ultimately to a photographer (Kenny Johnson).

Martinez said of the experience, "We found a whole new, completely different vocabulary and relationship that was organic to these characters. What was instant was our trust for each other."

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'Terriers' Trailer: Donal Logue Gets His Gumshoe On In FX's New Series

by Mike Moody, posted Aug 16th 2010 3:40PM
terrieres fxDonal Logue and Michael Raymond-James are teaming up for some gumshoe action in the new FX series 'Terriers.'

The new dramedy, from 'Ocean's Eleven' scribe Ted Griffin and 'The Shield' creator Shawn Ryan, stars Logue ('Life') and Raymond-James ('True Blood') as a pair of low rent P.I.s trying to eek out a living on the lesser-traveled streets of San Diego.

Zap2it has posted the first official trailer for the show, which looks like it's trying to strike a delicate balance between its two creators' distinct storytelling styles.

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Showrunner Shawn Ryan to Leave 'Lie to Me'

by Andrew Scott, posted May 7th 2010 5:20PM
Shawn RyanAnd now for the hard truth: According to the Live Feed, showrunner Shawn Ryan will exit the Fox procedural 'Lie to Me' after this season.

The reason? Ryan is reportedly busy with a handful of other projects, including the upcoming series 'Terriers' and 'Ridealong,' set to air on FX and FOX, respectively.

Ryan, who created 'The Shield' in 2002, has been in charge of 'Lie to Me' since the beginning of season 2.

Ryan's exit may be a telling sign for the sophomore series, which is set to return on Jun. 7. The ratings-challenged series, starring Oscar nominee Tim Roth, is said to be on the bubble as May upfronts approach.

'Terriers,' starring Donal Logue, is an hourlong comedy, about an ex-cop who partners with his best friend, played by Michael Raymond James. 'Ridealong' follows three groups of police officers in Chicago.

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TV Casting: Jason Clarke to Star in Shawn Ryan Cop Drama

by Andrew Scott, posted Mar 18th 2010 12:23PM
Jason Clarke'Brotherhood's' Jason Clarke will star in Shawn Ryan's ('The Shield') new cop drama 'Ride-Along.' He'll play larger-than-life Detective Jarek Wysocki in the Chicago-based series, about a man who tries to clean up the city's violence and corruption. 'Ride-Along' will air on Fox, with a premiere date to be determined. [Hollywood Reporter]

More casting news after the jump.

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Big Shot TV Producers Aren't Straying From Familiar Territory, And Why Not?

by Danny Gallagher, posted Feb 8th 2010 7:00PM
If you're one of the fortunate few who make it big in the television biz, shouldn't you take the opportunity to use that cushy cushion you have built for yourself and take a big risk on something exciting and new? Not if you're one of these big television producers.

Big shots like Shawn Ryan, David E. Kelley, and Shonda Rhimes all have pilots in the can that don't seem to stray much farther from the shows that made them the big shots that they are today.

For instance, Ryan, creator of the groundbreaking FX cop drama 'The Shield,' has another cop drama premiering with Fox called 'Ridealong.' Kelley, the writer/producer behind 'The Practice' and 'Boston Legal,' has created a reality drama for NBC called 'Kindred.' Even Rhimes, the woman behind ABC's 'Grey's Anatomy,' has another medical drama show for ABC called 'Off the Map.' Is ABC looking to create an all-medical soap opera cable channel in the coming year?

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Fox Orders Cop Pilot From Shawn Ryan

by Gary Susman, posted Jan 6th 2010 11:15AM
Look for another gritty crime drama this fall from Shawn Ryan, the man behind 'The Shield' and 'Lie to Me.'

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Fox has agreed to a pilot for Ryan's new series, 'Ridealong.' Like Ryan's other popular dramas, 'Ridealong' would center around a charismatic maverick, in this case, a Polish-American Chicago cop, one of the city's toughest.

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Review: Lie to Me - Tractor Man

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Dec 15th 2009 12:45PM
Lightman (Tim Roth, L) and Agent Reynolds (Mekhi Phifer, R) take charge when a disgruntled farmer tries to attack Washington, D.C. in the LIE TO ME episode 'Tractor Man.'
(S02E10) "...everybody does it because it feels all right, and it's more polite, but a lie's still a lie even when it's white..." - Loker

With the fall TV season slowly winding down, it was a pleasant surprise when Fox announced that Lie To Me's fall finale would air practically halfway into December. Now that the episode has come and gone and the TV schedules are becoming more and more barren over the coming weeks, I'm already wishing that Fox would just make up their minds and figure out when the final twelve episodes of the season will start airing. While "Tractor Man" wasn't Cal and the gang's strongest outing, it was still a solid reminder why Lie To Me has become so much more than just another crime procedural.

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Shield alums to reunite on Lie to Me

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Dec 2nd 2009 2:01PM
'The Shield' and 'Lie to Me'Despite the fact that FX's late drama The Shield has only been off the air for a little over a year, it looks like the gritty cop drama's cast just can't get enough of each other -- a handful of them will be staging a mini-Shield reunion on Lie to Me this coming spring.

According to the press release from Fox, former Shield cast members Catherine Dent (Danny), Kenny Johnson (Lem), David Marciano (Billings), Benito Martinez (Aceveda), Cathy Cahlin Ryan (Corinne), and David Rees Snell (Ronnie) will all be featured in the episode, entitled "Pied Piper."

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Review: Lie to Me - Fold Equity

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Dec 1st 2009 2:29PM
Lightman (Tim Roth) goes to Las Vegas to help locate a missing finalist in the World Series of Poker in the LIE TO ME episode 'Fold Equity,'
(S02E09) "She's the female equivalent of roulette and you like the view." - Foster

There's always a potential for screw-ups when networks start airing episodes out of the producers intended order (see NBC and their goofs with Detective Crosetti's death in season three of Homicide), but Lie to Me seems to have avoided that sort of miscalculation despite FOX's shuffling of the season order. That is, until "Fold Equity" aired last night. Originally set to air during Fox's Simpsons week (catch the Sideshow Bob reference?), "Fold Equity" didn't drop the ball on anything as major as a character's death, but more than once during the hour it felt as though we were taking some giant steps backward.

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'Lie to Me' Gets a Full Season Order

by Allyssa Lee, posted Nov 24th 2009 7:29PM
Here's the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth: The Fox drama 'Lie to Me' has just received its full season order.

"#Lie to Me picked up for a back 9!" posted executive producer Shawn Ryan ('The Shield') on his Twitter account. "Thanks for all the support everyone!"

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