CarterMatt Awards 2018: Derek Haas, Emily Andras, Peter M. Lenkov, Beth Schwartz among Favorite Showrunner nominees

Welcome to the 2018 CarterMatt Awards! This is our seventh annual year-end series where we as a site celebrate some of the best that TV has to offer! Our staff collectively hand-picks nominees across a wide array of different fields, and then leaves it up to you to declare the winner. We’ve had a fun time over the years with these awards and creating some fun debate throughout the month of December. Hopefully, this time around is no exception!

Today the focus is on a category that is a personal favorite here at the site in Favorite Showrunner. While we know in many ways a victory for a show is a victory for the people responsible for it behind the scenes, this category specifically sets out to recognize some of these people. These content creators work extremely long hours in order to make sure that your favorite shows are successful — beyond just that, we in particular like to recognize showrunners that go that extra mile and find a way to engage with fans beyond just the work they put out into the universe.

Voting rules – Vote however often you’d like! If you are having issues with voting, a handy guide can be found later on in this article.

The nominees

Emily Andras, Wynonna Earp – Go ahead and try to find a showrunner who offers up as much humor, insight, and support to her fans. Andras is responsible for one of the most delightful shows on television, and she also seems to be more attune to what her viewers want than almost any other person out there. You also get a sense from her that doing Wynonna Earp isn’t just another job. It’s something that fuels her creativity and she embraces the opportunity to tell great, inventive stories each and every season.

Derek Haas, Chicago Fire – While Haas does not write on the other two One Chicago series at present, he is in many ways the captain responsible for making the franchise so successful. He is the co-creator of Chicago Fire, the series that started it all, and he remains one of the best ambassadors for the franchise on social media with a great sense of humor and interest in what the fans have to say about the show. He has also added another show to his resume this year in FBI continuing to show that he is one of the hardest working showrunners out there.

Joe Henderson and Ildy Modrovich, Lucifer – Joe and Ildy deserve all of the credit in the world for managing to make Lucifer a fun, fantastic, and at times heart-wrenching show. Through the second half of season 3 in particular they shepherded some fantastic episodes, delivered the end of the Cain arc, and gave us an epic Lucifer – Chloe cliffhanger like no other. They also deserve tremendous kudos for the way they handled the #SaveLucifer campaign after Fox’s cancellation, providing the right combination of realism and optimism to keep fans engaged and hopeful leading up to Netflix’s big announcement of a season 4.

Peter M. Lenkov, Hawaii Five-0MacGyver, and Magnum PI – The fact that he has three shows listed under his name should tell you quite a bit about Lenkov’s contributions to much of CBS’ programming lineup. He’s a master at time management and beyond just that, has a real knack for crafting great stories that combine action, humor, and drama in ways that other shows dream of doing. While Magnum PI is still new, his two other series have built extremely loyal followings and consistent ratings; much of the reason for that comes from the faith that viewers have in his storytelling.

Julie Plec, Legacies and The Originals – This is the third straight show that Plec has either run or co-run on The CW following The Vampire Diaries and The Originals. Yet, what she’s managed to do with Legacies is pretty magical — take a franchise with an established fanbase and still find a way to recruit new viewers by shifting the tone and adding new elements. She’s always been a kind social-media source of insight and behind-the-scenes tidbits, and this year in particular we think she’s established a great roadmap for how to refresh a franchise while still pleasing some diehard fans at the same time.

Beth Schwartz, Arrow – This was Schwartz’s first season as showrunner on Arrow and overall, there’s a lot to love about the stories she’s crafted. She added a whole new mystery to the series courtesy of the flash-forwards, navigated the intense prison arc for Oliver, and added more maturity and growth to some of these characters. Anytime you are in charge of a show this deep into a run, it can be difficult to continue to keep stories new and exciting; yet, Schwartz has figured it out while also establishing a great social-media presence following Marc Guggenheim’s run as the head of the series.

Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer, Shadowhunters – Slavkin and Swimmer have been the chief creative voices on the Freeform series since the start of season 2, and to say that they’ve had quite the eventful year would be an understatement. They’ve had the challenge of having to usher the series into a two-part finale after the news of the cancellation first broke and, in addition to delivering a great show they’ve been as kind and supportive as showrunners can be on social media of fans who were saddened by Freeform’s decision. They’ve been a great voice of support to the fandom and they’ve offered up as much hope and passion as possible.

Kurt Sutter and Elgin James, Mayans MC – We don’t even have to write out the difficulty that comes with starting up a new series in the Sons of Anarchy universe. Sutter took a gamble in hoping that his viewers would be willing to following him to this new world, and with the help of new collaborator Elgin James, they made Mayans MC into something that captured the spirit of the new motorcycle club and also the essence of what made the original show great. This is an intense, violent show, but also underneath it all a thought-provoking character study into what makes a man.

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