More showrunner mega-deals as studios look to lock in talent

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These deals easily extend into the tens--and in the case of super producers like Abrams and Greg Berlanti--hundreds of millions of dollars. Part of the thinking is that syndication and backend no longer exists in the way it used to, so showrunners need more money up front. And while the deals are great for people at the top, as episode orders have shrunk, mid-level writers now find themselves having to work 2 or 3 shows a year and they're not getting any backend either. These huge deals seem like a trend of the moment, but in a lot of way, they are similar to the sitcom showrunner boom that happened with the success of 'Friends' and 'Seinfeld.' The difference is now, studios are having to bulk up for all the forthcoming streaming services.