Action Comedy TV: Showrunner Matt Nix

Here’s another of Diane Haithman’s TV showrunner interviews:

nix2MATT NIX is creator and showrunner for USA Network’s hit spy show Burn Notice, which just finished the second half of Season 3 this month. He’s got a second action series The Good Guys set for FBS this summer. (It previews on May 19th and then resumes June 7th.) An action comedy set in Dallas about a resentful washed-up cop and an ambitious young detective, it stars Bradley Whitford and Colin Hanks. Los Angeles-born and UCLA-educated Nix wrote and directed some forgettable showbiz stuff before he became the “poster boy” for the Writers Guild’s Showrunner Training Program. By 2007, he was the quintessential cable guy, happily inhabiting those tighter budgets, narrower target audiences, and lower stakes. Or, to use his word, a more “niche-y” area. Nix’s obsession with crime began when he discovered a family friend was a con artist wanted by the FBI (“To me that was awesome”) and began reading up on all sorts of swindlers. He has a quirky sense of humor which infuses his work and his characters especially when they are in life-threatening situations. His shows are not so much dramedies as they are non-sequitors. Now, as he moves into network TV at age 38, Nix recommends that the Big Three networks take some tips from cable TV; expresses a surprising respect for the TV executive’s role in an increasingly complicated production business; and details his battle with White Collar showrunner Jeff Eastin to attract the most Twitter followers:

DH: I have been charged with reporting to you that Nikki has not missed one of your Burn Notice episodes, ever. She is an obsessed fan, so you should know that.

MN: I love that . . . I would be lying if I said I hadn’t noticed that she has mentioned the show. (more…)

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