Storyteller and Showrunner Clyde Phillips
An Interviewby Jane Lancellotti
The words hardworking and prolific only begin to describe Clyde Phillips, the writer and creator of such long-running television series as Parker Lewis Can’t Lose and Suddenly Susan. Clyde is also the guy who discovered Anne Hathaway. She was a high school senior from New Jersey when he cast her alongside Jesse Eisenberg in his 1999 Fox family comedy, Get Real. (As the story goes, the day before her Get Real audition, Anne had been passed over for the lead in Millburn High School’s production of South Pacific, and she was pretty nervous about reading for Clyde.) Beyond turning out dozens of episodes and pilots, as well as screenplays and several mystery novels, Clyde is one of Hollywood’s top showrunners. His title is executive producer, meaning he’s the one in charge of everything, from hiring writers, actors, directors, editors, composers, and crew, to negotiating with studio and network executives over the season’s episodes, to making sure there are enough Cheerios for the crew in the morning. What he’d say about all this is that his first responsibility is to tell a good story. Without a good story, he says, no one has a job.