Television is basking in the glow of another golden age. Need proof? A glimpse at this year's Emmy nominees should do the trick.
Hit series like Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad and Orange is the New Black are each up for a dozen or more golden statuettes on Monday night.
Not only are these shows examples of TV's shift toward high-quality story-driven drama, but they also represent the rise of a new kind of star: the television showrunner.
- 2014 Emmys: Game of Thrones leads with 19 nominations
- Orange is the New Black actress nabs Emmy award
Breaking Bad's Vince Gilligan and Orange in the New Black's Jenji Kohan are approaching household name status, and some industry insiders are attributing the increase in first-rate shows to the rise of the showrunner.
Conducting the symphony
Dexter creator and Hemlock Grove showrunner Chic Eglee says his job is about setting tone:
"A writing staff is like a symphony. There are all these different voices going on," Eglee explains.
"The job of a showrunner is to really sit back and conduct the symphony. To blend all those different voices"
Embracing the showrunner model
In Canada, however, television producers are just starting to embrace the showrunner model, and some believe it's the answer to why Canadian drama hasn't yet reached its full potential.
Stephanie Morgenstern and Mark Ellis are the creators of the new CBC spy drama Camp X. They're also showrunning the production that's currently filming in Hungary.
Speaking from Budapest, Ellis told CBC Arts reporter Deana Sumanac that Canadian TV is becoming more story driven than it used to be.
"We've traditionally had television series that are spearheaded by people who know how to put the money together. That's because it's such a terribly complicated thing to do in television."
Camp X is an emotionally charged adventure drama set in the midst of Second World War espionage and covert operations.
The eight-episode, one-hour series is set to air in early 2015.
For the full story on the rise of the showrunner, watch CBC Arts reporter Deana Sumanac's report Sunday on The National.