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The Boston Globe


buzzsaw | matthew gilbert

On TV, it’s a writer’s world

Yes, TV is still the home of the McDrama, the highly rated franchise shows such as “NCIS” and “CSI” whose writers just assemble the pieces. But that is far from the only story when it comes to scripted TV, which has become a haven for creatively ambitious writers who want to do more than play Lego.

For years now, TV has been flourishing as a writer’s medium, where writers are the central figures in the storytelling process. Once primarily controlled by producers and name-brand actors, TV has now fully adopted the writer-king model. The most acclaimed shows of our time, including “Mad Men,” “The Wire,” “Six Feet Under,” “Deadwood,” and “Breaking Bad,” have been driven almost exclusively by writers with distinct and original visions. Without these people, the “quality TV” revolution in recent years wouldn’t have occurred.

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