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Fall TV Trends: 17 Network Chiefs Predict Their Hits, Reveal Guilty Pleasures, and Admit Which Rival Show They’d Steal

IndieWire's Network Presidents Fall TV survey is back, and this year the tube titans profess their love for "Killing Eve," "Barry," "Succession," and their Apple TV device, among other things.

IndieWire’s annual Network Presidents survey

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Many of TV’s top execs aren’t just suits — they’re also fans. And although they have to spend a big chunk of their day reading scripts, watching dailies and giving notes on their own shows, they’re also consuming a lot of what the competition has to offer. It’s not easy, but when IndieWire asked TV’s top bosses to list how they watch TV at home, they all subscribed to everything: Cable or satellite with the works, plus the major streaming services. Several of them even copped to using the Apple TV device to watch their programming, which is sure to make the folks in Cupertino happy.

As an annual fall ritual, IndieWire once again asked execs for picks on which of their new shows might surprise, as well as what their recent binge or guilty pleasure was, and what show they’d like to steal from other networks. Among the series that the people who make your favorite TV shows watch themselves: BBC America’s “Killing Eve,” and HBO’s “Succession” and “Barry.” IndieWire also asked what questions the execs are asked the most, and what’s keeping them up at night as the business changes at a rapid pace. Here’s the latest insight into what TV’s top executives are thinking, and what’s concerning them most.

Read More: All of IndieWire’s Fall TV Coverage

THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT - "Pilot" - Set in the 1970s, this ensemble comedy follows a traditional Irish-Catholic family, the Clearys, as they navigate big and small changes during one of America's most turbulent decades. In a working-class neighborhood outside Los Angeles, Mike and Peggy raise eight boisterous boys who live out their days with little supervision. The household is turned upside down when oldest son Lawrence returns home and announces he's quitting the seminary to go off and "save the world." Times are changing and this family will never be the same. There are 10 people, three bedrooms, one bathroom and everyone in it for themselves. (ABC/Tony Rivetti)SAWYER BARTH, SANTINO BARNARD, CALEB MARTIN FOOTE, CHRISTOPHER PAUL RICHARDS, JACK GORE, MICHAEL CUDLITZ, MARY MCCORMACK

“The Kids Are Alright”

ABC

Channing Dungey, ABC entertainment president

What will be your network’s next sleeper hit? I don’t think there has been as much buzz as of yet for “The Kids Are Alright.” So if you’re asking me about the sleeper, I think that could be the one. Tim Doyle is telling the story of his own crazy family and it feels real and heartwarming and emotional, in a way that reminds me of a lot of comedies that I grew up watching. It’s going to be a great co-viewing opportunity for families.

Name one of your recent TV guilty pleasures. “Succession.” That was really good. I thought the performances were great, the cast was incredible. It’s also one of those shows where every moment there’s an “OMG, I can’t believe this is happening!” moment. Which is fun, and it was something my husband and I watched together.

What show would you love to steal from a rival? I have said for a while that it’s “This Is Us,” and I’m still a fan of “This Is Us,” so I’d probably go with that. I’m hoping “A Million Little Things” is going to scratch that itch for our audience.

What’s the question you’re asked the most? It’s a toss-up between anything that has the word “Roseanne” in it, and what I think about the pending merger and acquisition [between Disney and Fox’s production entities].

What keeps you up at night? I’ve talked before about ratings measurements, which are endlessly frustrating for me. But I think it’s a talent question too. It’s about talent retention in an age of extreme competition.

What do you subscribe to at home? We have Spectrum and an Apple TV, which is how I watch Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon. I’ve got everything. In my job you have to have everything, because I don’t want to hear about a show that you suddenly can’t access. But I would have Amazon anyway because I’m a mom and I need diapers to come via Amazon Prime.

"God Friended Me"

“God Friended Me”

CBS

Kelly Kahl, CBS entertainment president

What will be your network’s next sleeper hit? “God Friended Me”

Name one of your recent TV guilty pleasures. “Cobra Kai.” Really, really smart and well executed.

What show would you love to steal from a rival? “Cobra Kai.”

What’s the question you’re asked the most? “Why did [fill in the blank] get canceled?” The answer: Not enough people watched.

What keeps you up at night? How can we create attention and interest in our shows amongst the sea of programs out there?

What do you subscribe to at home? DirecTV (need for Sunday Ticket) and every major streaming service.

THE TITAN GAMES -- Pictured: "The Titan Games" logo -- (Photo by: NBC)

“The Titan Games”

NBC

Bob Greenblatt, NBC entertainment chairman

What will be your network’s next sleeper hit? “The Titan Games” (from executive producer Dwayne Johnson).

Name one of your recent TV guilty pleasures. “Crashing” (the British comedy, not the HBO comedy)

What show would you love to steal from a rival? “Killing Eve”

What’s the question you’re asked the most? “How are you planning for the future?” The answer could never fit here.

What keeps you up at night? How do we follow and monetize the audience from linear viewing to digital?

What do you subscribe to at home? DirecTV, Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Showtime, Starz, Sirius, Spotify, etc.

“The Cool Kids”

Fox

Michael Thorn, Fox entertainment president

What will be your network’s next sleeper hit? “The Cool Kids.” Original voice with Charlie Day, incredible cast who have put in their 10,000 hours of comedy. And when you see the way they interact, they already have chemistry. I think it’s funny and aspirational, and it’s different than all of the other comedies on television.

Name one of your recent TV guilty pleasures. “The Bachelorette.” And I just binged the second season of “Fauda” and I’m hooked on that show.

What show would you love to steal from a rival? We couldn’t do “Game of Thrones” the way they do “Game of Thrones,” but as a fan, it’s one of my favorite shows of all time.

What’s the question you’re asked the most? “Who’s going where?”

What keeps you up at night? How do we, as New Fox, move forward in a way that continues to be creatively resonant, and financially sound?

What do you subscribe to at home? Spotify, Netflix, Hulu, DirecTV. I use Spotify non-stop.

“In the Dark”

The CW

Mark Pedowitz, The CW president

What will be your network’s next sleeper hit? “In The Dark” (midseason).

Name one of your recent TV guilty pleasures. Two things: “Fauda” and “Barry.” “Fauda” is an interesting view of the world, in a land that’s totally besot by hatred. I find it fascinating to watch, the similarities and what goes along with it. It’s worth watching. And “Barry” was just a great ride. It’s a little reminiscent of “Dexter.” Also, we’re big fans at our house of “Suits.” We just completed the seventh season.

What show would you love to steal from a rival? I don’t have any, I really don’t. There are things that are right for the CW and things that aren’t right for the CW. The last thing I really coveted for the CW that would have been great for us was “Scream Queens,” which would have done better for us than Fox.

What’s the question you’re asked the most? “When can I go home?” I ask the question myself each day. No, I’m teasing. “What does all the chaos mean to the CW?”

What keeps you up at night? How do I grow our streaming service and make it bigger?

What do you subscribe to at home? I have DirecTV, but I don’t have DirecTV Now. I subscribe to Hulu, Netflix, I am an Amazon Prime member, and I have apps for a variety of networks if I want to bypass them all.

Alexander Skarsgård as Becker, Florence Pugh as Charlie Ross - The Little Drumer Girl _ Season 1, Episode 3 - Photo Credit: Jonathan Olley/AMC/Ink Factory

“The Little Drummer Girl”

Jonathan Olley/AMC/Ink Factory

David Madden, AMC/SundanceTV/AMC Studios president of programming

What will be your network’s next sleeper hit? “The Little Drummer Girl.” Starmaking performance from Florence Pugh, and Skarsgard and Shannon are both deliciously charming and sinister (in different degrees).

Name one of your recent TV guilty pleasures. “Queen of the South.” Fun, swaggering crime melodrama unashamed of its own B-movie-ness.

What show would you love to steal from a rival? Would anyone not answer “Game of Thrones”? (Unless you weren’t at AMC, and then would anyone not answer “The Walking Dead”?)

What’s the question you’re asked the most? “Does Charlie Collier ever sleep?” (Hint: the answer is not yes).

What keeps you up at night? How to balance the needs of linear and the opportunities of streaming.

What do you subscribe to at home? DirecTV – which includes Netflix/Amazon/Hulu and some other things I can’t identify.

Mr. Inbetween Sundance Episodic 2018

“Mr. Inbetween”

Mark Rogers

John Landgraf, FX Networks CEO

What will be your network’s next sleeper hit? I hope people watch “Mr. Inbetween.” A half-hour drama, I love it. I think it’s original and really fresh, and surprising and delightful.

Name one of your recent TV guilty pleasures. I just watched “Killing Eve” on BBC America and enjoyed it.

What show would you love to steal from a rival? How do I pick something without it being a straight-up cliche? I don’t think I have one, but “Barry.”

What’s the question you’re asked the most? “When is peak TV going to end?”

What keeps you up at night? How do we stay relevant, how do we still make any significant portion of the best TV that’s being made?

What do you subscribe to at home? DirecTV, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Netflix, I have an Apple TV as the operating system we use to access things. We have a Crunchyroll subscription.

“Escape from Dannemora”

Showtime

David Nevins, Showtime Networks CEO

What will be your network’s next sleeper hit? I don’t believe in the sleeper hit because I want all of our shows to pop up. But I think “Escape from Dannemora” is going to make a lot of news when people start to see it. It’s spectacular filmmaking. It’s a level of performance that people haven’t seen before.

Name one of your recent TV guilty pleasures. I recently binged “The Handmaid’s Tale.” I did a really deep dive on everything “Desus & Mero” on YouTube and the range of their interviews, and the range of what they get out of their interviews is incredible. That was a YouTube deep dive.

What show would you love to steal from a rival? I always freeze over this question. If there was a great comedy I was watching somewhere, that’s what I would say.

What’s the question you’re asked the most? Sacha Baron Cohen. “How did he pull it off?” and “Are you scared of the controversy?” He has an incredibly high bar.

What keeps you up at night? I sleep pretty well. But how do we make the OTT train drive faster?

What do you subscribe to at home? I have DirecTV with a lot of sports packages. I get Showtime about four different ways because I want to see how it looks on different platforms. So I get Showtime through Hulu, through Amazon, and direct. As well as through DirecTV. I’ve got Netflix, Amazon, Hulu.

QUEEN OF THE SOUTH -- "Piloto" Episode 101 -- Pictured: (l-r) Alice Braga as Teresa Mendoza, Jon Ecker as Guero -- (Photo by: Benedicte Desrus/USA Network)

“Queen of the South”

Benedicte Desrus/USA Network

Chris McCumber, USA Network/SYFY president

What will be your sleeper hit this year — the show that might be a little more under the radar, but that we shouldn’t miss? On both USA and Syfy, our sleeper hits are strong female-driven dramas. On USA, “Queen of the South” in its third season continues to average over 2 million viewers – and is a bold, strong story told by a diverse cast and crew. And on Syfy, “Wynonna Earp” is a show that simply defines fandom. There are fans, and then there are “Earpers.” This loyal, passionate, vocal, positive community has brought younger, female audiences to the network.

Name one of your recent TV guilty pleasures. Just finished “Succession” and loved it.  Surprisingly funny.

What show would you love to steal from a rival? “Rick and Morty” for Syfy. The show is a perfect fit for our brand and one of the most brilliant series on television.

What’s the question you’re asked the most? The question I’m asked the most is, “What keeps you up at night?”  Which brings us to your next question…

What keeps you up at night? Monetizing total viewership, not just an antiquated C3 model.

What do you subscribe to at home? Comcast Xfinity.  I’m a company man and the product is really terrific.

John Wick

“The Continental” is a spinoff series from “John Wick”

Lionsgate

Carmi Slotnik, Starz programming president

What will be your network’s next sleeper hit? “The Continental” is going to blow people away. I think it’s one of those high-octane action shows that has a lot of heart and a lot of soul.

Name one of your recent TV guilty pleasures. I spend so much time in the fiction world, so my spare time is more spent reading than watching. I’d say my guilty pleasure would be “How to Change Your Mind,” a story about the history of psychedelics.

What show would you love to steal from a rival? Doesn’t everybody say “Game of Thrones”? That’s the easy answer. But I don’t covet anyone’s shows. I want to do things that are original and only for Starz.

What’s the question you’re asked the most? “Do you have time for lunch?” My answer is usually “no.”

What keeps you up at night? Quality control. Thinking about what we can do on every series to create the best possible product for our subscribers.

What do you subscribe to at home? Spectrum cable, I have the full package. I try to sample as much as possible. But after I’m done watching our shows, I have very little time. So I tend to watch the first episodes and last episodes and try to survey what’s out there. But it’s daunting. Streaming-wise I have Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, a little bit of everything.

“Panic”

HarperCollins

Jennifer Salke, Amazon Studios head

What will be your network’s next sleeper hit? I think our efforts at this sophisticated Young Adult space and these three pilots (“Panic,” “The Wilds,” “College”) we’re making in that corner of the world has been underestimated. I think it really could perform. And I’m really excited by the three female creators that we have making those pilots. I’m keeping a close eye and am invested in it.

Name one of your recent TV guilty pleasures. “Killing Eve.”

What show would you love to steal from a rival? “Killing Eve.”

What’s the question you’re asked the most? “What’s different about this job? How are you feeling about it? What are the challenges you’re facing?” I’m asked that by everyone.

What keeps you up at night? How to build on a more collaborative culture, and how to get hits in the pipeline.

What do you subscribe to at home? We have an Apple TV with everything on it (Netflix, Amazon and Hulu), and we do DirecTV. I have pages and pages of channels.

Hulu The Hulu logo on a window at the Milk Studios space in New York. Hulu will offer a live-streaming service in 2017 that will offer a mix of cable and broadcast programming as well as news, sports and events. That pits the streaming service against similar offerings from Sling TV and PlayStation Vue as more and more Americans shift to watching TV onlineHulu Live Streaming, New York, USA

Hulu

Dan Goodman/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Craig Erwich, Hulu senior vice president of content

Name one of your recent TV guilty pleasures. “F*ck that’s Delicious.” It’s like Cheech and Chong, but let loose in the often too precious world of food.

What show would you love to steal from a rival? “The Watchman” because not only is it the only comic I’ve ever read, but it’s one of the greatest books I’ve ever read.

What’s the question you’re asked the most? “What are you looking for?” I like to answer with, “What are you most passionate about?”

What keeps you up at night? How do we set up our shows for success? And, what is the right idea and right strategy to find that show’s particular audience?

What do you subscribe to at home? Hulu (w/ HBO and Showtime add-ons) Netflix, Amazon.

Liza KoshyVariety Portrait Studio, Beautycon Festival Los Angeles, USA - 13 Aug 2017

Liza Koshy

Michael Buckner/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

Susanne Daniels, YouTube global head of originals

What will be your network’s next sleeper hit? I’m excited about all of our shows, but I’ll talk about something we just launched that has potential to grow: Liza Koshy’s “Liza on Demand.” She is really talented and her fans love what she’s doing. She has broader appeal than just the YouTube community. She’s a unique personality with loyal fans from the YouTube community but can appeal to a large audience looking to check her out. She’s Lucille Ball-talented.

Name one of your recent TV guilty pleasures. I’ve been watching more movies than TV series recently. Claire Scanlon is a friend of mine, and she has a new movie at Netflix called “Set It Up,” so I watched that. I’ve watched a little bit of “Love Island,” the British reality show, because my kids and my husband were watching it. And it reminds me of a show I did at MTV, “Are You The One?”

What show would you love to steal from a rival? “Mr. Robot.”

What’s the question you’re asked the most? I’m asked a lot about our commitment to YouTube stars vs. Hollywood stars. And about our commitment to growing YouTube originals, and international growth, which is a big part of our plan.

What keeps you up at night? I also do get asked a lot about is what is the YouTube brand. I do think a lot about brand, I always have. I do want to make sure that our shows feel reflective and organic and part of YouTube at large. Also, delivery. It’s important we get the shows delivered on time. And there’s always some snafu or production issue. Production delays make me crazy.

What do you subscribe to at home? I have everything. I have Spectrum cable, Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, obviously YouTube Premium. Showtime, HBO, Starz. I check it all out.

“Master of Arms”

Shutterstock / Dziurek

Nancy Daniels, Discovery Communications chief brand officer, Discovery & Factual

What will be your network’s next sleeper hit? I’m very hopeful for a show we have called “Master of Arms.” It’s a closed-ended competition show making classic and historic weaponry by blacksmiths. I’ve been testing it out and it did really great. Our audience loves to see people who can craft things with their hands.

Name one of your recent TV guilty pleasures. My absolute favorite guilty pleasure is “Big Brother.” I love it. I’m totally in. My take on the season is, these people are nuts. How they’re mind screwing with people is off-the-charts diabolical and fascinating. It’s a show that has a special place in my heart. I was a producer on it for Seasons 2, 3, and 4, then I was at CBS for 5, 6, 7, 8. I took a break and now I’m back in. I love them, I love the show.

What show would you love to steal from a rival? “Hunting Hitler” from History. It’s a cool mystery. They took something that could have been small and made it fascinating and long-lasting.

What’s the question you’re asked the most? “How’s Shark Week?” It’s fascinating to me, to be around Shark Week in this particular position is a whole different level. I love how everybody loves Shark Week. We have tons of marketing partnerships, so many people want to be involved in it. It’s just fun.

What keeps you up at night? The state of the industry. How are we all going to survive? I do feel like it’s cliche to say at this point, but content is king. That’s what I stay focused on, but there’s a lot. How are the chips going to fall in the next five to ten years?

What do you subscribe to at home? Full-on DirecTV, which is mostly what I watch. My DVR, I watch things that way. I have a few of the subscription services, I have Amazon Prime because I like free shipping, but if I go to any of the streaming services, I feel overwhelmed. Apple, but that’s more for music.

“Valley of the Boom”

NatGeo

Courtney Monroe, National Geographic global networks CEO

What will be your network’s next sleeper hit? “Valley of the Boom.” It’s wildly entertaining, it’s super different, it’s really different in tone. It’s a huge creative swing, but I love we’re taking a swing like that. We’re going to put all of our muscle behind it and hopefully viewers will respond.

Name one of your recent TV guilty pleasures. I don’t feel guilty about this at all, but I’m about to watch the season finale of “Billions.” It’s sort of male, soap opera-y, and I love it. I dabble in some “Real Housewives of New York City,” I’m not going to lie. But I’ve been binging “Billions.”

What’s the question you’re asked the most? The Disney transaction, which I can’t talk about, but it’s by far the thing I talk about the most.

What keeps you up at night? Me as a viewer, I can’t get through everything that I want to watch, and I’m a veracious consumer of content, and I can’t get through it all. How am I ever going to expect people to get to the stuff we’re making?

What do you subscribe to at home? I subscribe to everything. We have a huge traditional cable package with Verizon FiOs. And then Netflix and Hulu. My kids navigate it all.

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage.Mandatory Credit: Photo by Snowpiercer/Moho/Opus/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (5883392j)Chris Evans, Song Kang-HoSnowpiercer - 2013Director: Joon-Ho BongSnowpiercer/Moho Films/Opus PicturesSOUTH KOREA/USA/FRANCEScene StillScifiSnowpiercer - le transperceneige

“Snowpiercer” (2013 film)

Snowpiercer/Moho/Opus/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

Sarah Aubrey, TNT executive vice president of original programming

What will be your network’s next sleeper hit? It’s really hard to talk about one upcoming sleeper hit that’s not to be missed as we have some truly distinctive, stylized series ahead on our slate that we’re extremely proud of and excited to introduce to audiences. A shorter and sure answer would be ‘Snowpiercer,’ starring Jennifer Connelly, Daveed Diggs and helmed by EP/showrunner Graeme Manson.

But considering the long and somewhat differentiated view of what we have in store for viewers is rolled into this package of great, gritty mysteries ending quietly as told through limited series that we’re calling our “Suspense Collection” that began with “The Alienist.” We were excited by the idea of developing a slate of gripping, cinematically-driven, self-contained, limited series that also appeals to and attracted great talent like Patty Jenkins and Chris Pine. TNT’s “Suspense Collection” will allow us to continue to grow and cultivate this audience with universally suspenseful entertainment that’s driven by characters who are unique and diverse that entice viewers to really lean in and get lost in the storytelling experience.

Name one of your recent TV guilty pleasures. “Ozark,” Season 2

What show would you love to steal from a rival? I’d love to bring the BBC’s “Killing Eve” to our network. It is an incredibly original savory story that’s already secured a cult following here in the US – myself included. “Killing Eve” features a strong, complex and morally-complicated female characters and has loads of style that would truly complement the tone of our original series (like “Claws” and “Animal Kingdom”). It’s shows like this that entice and satisfy the viewing appetites of our engaged and large, female-skewing audience have come to expect from TNT since our rebrand.

What’s the question you’re asked the most? As a senior female executive, I increasingly find that younger women who are newer to the industry ask and want to speak with me about strategies to succeed in our business. To which I always tell them that you have to be tenacious; to use humor to help get your way and don’t be afraid…be fearless! And in addition to all of these things, it is extremely important to hold the door open for others.

What keeps you up at night? The key business question that keeps me and many executives in the business these days is really, “What is the future of linear television?”

What do you subscribe to at home? At home, we have Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and Spectrum to choose from to satisfy our viewing needs and wants.

Simon Rich, Daniel Radcliffe, Steve Buscemi. Simon Rich, from left, Daniel Radcliffe and Steve Buscemi cast members in the TBS series "Miracle Workers" pose for a portrait during the 2018 Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour at the Langham Hotel, in Pasadena, Calif2018 Winter TCA - "Miracle Workers" Portrait Session, Pasadena, USA - 11 Jan 2018

“Miracle Workers” creator Simon Rich, and stars Daniel Radcliffe and Steve Buscemi

Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Brett Weitz, TBS executive vice president of programming

What will be your network’s next sleeper hit? “Miracle Workers”

Name one of your recent TV guilty pleasures. I just binged “The Last OG” again and loved it.

What show would you love to steal from a rival? None, I want for nothing in this life.

What’s the question you’re asked the most? “What’s it like working with the great Kevin Reilly?” Amazing.

What keeps you up at night? Now, what do we do?

What do you subscribe to at home? DirecTV, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Apple TV, PBS Kids.

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