He’s a real-live showrunner! This week’s Show Your Work is a special pleasure for both of us; for me, because our guest, Michael Grassi, is not just a writer and co-executive producer on Riverdale AND the showrunner of the upcoming CW show Katy Keene, also based on a character from the Archie Comics universe – but also a good friend of mine who’s been in the writer trenches with me for years. And for Lainey, because she loves writers’ room lore like it’s a fantasy series, and rabidly and digests everything to do with the room and what Michael calls ‘a months-long dinner party’.
After starting his writing career on a little show called Degrassi: The Next Generation where Michael and I fell in friendship-love, and angered some fans with the epic Degrassi Takes Manhattan (featuring an appearance from your very own Lainey Lui as herself!) he went on to work on and eventually showrun Lost Girl before moving on to Supergirl and then three seasons of Riverdale.
As Michael and his co-creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacassa (creator of Riverdale) staff up for the first season of Katy Keene, we dive into the WGC vs AGA conflict and what it means when you’re actually trying to put a room together, why having a room full of people who agree can actually be a bad thing, and why too many options on set gave rise to Michael’s rule to live by, and Lainey’s soon-to-be favourite new T-shirt, “It’s Either a Yes or a No. No Time for Maybe.”
Plus, Michael dishes on teen actor chemistry, network notes, the plague of Canadian spellings, and what to do when the very worst thing happens, but the show must go on.
You can follow Michael (but mostly his beautiful stately dog Faye) on Twitter and Instagram. Send us (and him!) your thoughts – we love your tweets and emails. Please subscribe to Show Your Work wherever you get your podcasts – and of course you can find us on Twitter @laineygossip and @duanaelise or on Instagram @laineygossip and @duanataha.