Rafe Judkins - Wheel of Time Series Showrunner

Rafe Judkins was announced as the Wheel of Time Showrunner on April 20, 2017:
Rafe Judkins has been tapped to serve as showrunner, executive producer and writer on the Wheel of Time TV show. A longtime fan of Robert Jordan's epic 14-book fantasy series, Judkins previously wrote and produced on Marvel's Agents of SHIELD. He also wrote episodes of Chuck and wrote and produced episodes of Netflix's Hemlock Grove.
Not sure what a Showrunner is or does? Narg's got your back! Here's an except from a USA Today article:
Pedantically, the Oxford Dictionary defines a "showrunner" as "The person who has overall creative authority and management responsibility for a television program. 
In practice, the showrunner is the big brain of an episodic television series, and the executor of the ordered number of scripts for a given season.
It's worth reading the whole article(just click skip survey when it pops up) as it has quotes from several showrunners.

Wikipedia describes the job as:
In the parlance of the Hollywood television industry, a showrunner is a television series' executive producer who is also the head writer. A showrunner's duties often combine those traditionally assigned to the head writer, executive producer, and script editor. In films, directors typically have creative control of a production — but in television, the showrunner always outranks the director.
Now we know what a Showrunner is, who is this Rafe Judkins dude?

His CBS Survivor Bio from 2005:

"Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, Rafe Judkins was raised in a huge Mormon family that includes more than 60 first cousins. Rafe's mother, Lani, is an artist, and his father, Ren, an inventor. Judkins' unique childhood had him spending time painting rocks and taking apart machines. At age five, Judkins moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he attended Sewickley Academy for 14 years. During this time, Judkins spent his summers teaching English and science to inner city middle school students. He graduated cum laude in 2001 and was selected as the member of the senior class most likely to be on SURVIVOR.

After graduation, Judkins moved to Providence, Rhode Island, to attend Brown University, where he concentrated in biology and anthropology. While in college, he managed Brown Outdoor Leadership Training (BOLT), a program designed to give students exposure to intense wilderness situations with small groups of people. He also expressed his love of food by founding a cooking class for students run by Brown's head catering chef.

Judkins' love for travel and adventure began early, driving around the country in a seventeen-passenger van with his family. Now 22 years old, he has been to all 50 states and 14 different countries, and he lived for seven months in Sydney, Australia. He believes you haven't really experienced a place unless you've slept on the ground and woken up to the sunrise there (cities excluded). He also enjoys tennis, swimming, water skiing and screenwriting. He is proudest of his ability to play Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" on the piano with his toes. Rafe's hero is his mother, Lani, who is brilliant, beautiful and charming enough to do anything with her life, but she chose to be his mother. He believes she made him every bit the man he is today.

Judkins currently resides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with his mother, father and brother, Landon. His birth date is January 8, 1983."

This preshow clip from Survivor gives us a small insight into his character.


That's all old stuff from his Survivor days. Time to look at what he's done since.

After Survivor, Judkins moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in screenwriting. He was staffed on the short-lived Christian Slater drama, My Own Worst Enemy. After that, he was hired on the third season of Chuck. His episodes included Chuck Versus the Tic Tac, Chuck Versus the Honeymooners, Chuck Versus the First Fight, Chuck Versus the Push Mix, and the first of half of the series finale Chuck Versus Sarah. After a stint on "Hemlock Grove" he began writing for Marvel's Agents of SHIELD.
Narg hasn't watched the Chuck episodes, but he did watch all of season one of Hemlock Grove for which Rafe is listed as a co-producer for all ten episodes as well as a Teleplay(writer) credit for episode 8(What Peter Can Live Without). It's worth noting that he shares the credits with Lauren LeFranc his writing partner.



The Agents of Shield Fandom Wiki:
Rafe Judkins is an American producer and writer on Agents whose previous credits include Chuck and My Own Worst Enemy as a writer, and Hemlock Grove as a producer. Prior to writing original work of his own, he was a writing assistant and script coordinator on The 4400 and Law & Order:SVU. He tends to work in tandem with Lauren LeFranc.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki has him down as co-writer on the following episodes with LeFranc: The Hub, T.R.A.C.K.S., A Fractured House, One Door Closes and Scars. They also list him as a producer on season one and a supervising producer on season two.

It will be interesting to see if LeFranc will also be part of the WoT show or if Rafe is going solo on this one.

Not sure what being a Producer mean's on a TV show? From Wikipedia:

Co-producer: A writer on the show who may not have written the episode, but contributed significantly through table reads or revisions

Supervising producer: Supervises the creative process in the writing room, and often aids in script re-writes. These people also guide new writers.

Teleplay By: teleplay consists of individual scenes and full dialogue or monologue

Narg paid close attention to the one Hemlock Grove episode(What Peter Can Live Without) that Rafe and Lauren wrote and was a bit disappointed by it. It had a strong lead in episode that set things up for something big. Unfortunately it didn't deliver on that and was a bit of a fizzle for Narg. How much control they had over what was in the episode, Narg can't say but the episode overall wasn't great.

Who cares what Narg thinks though! What does Harriet think?

Team Jordan had the following to say about Rafe:
Harriet is delighted that Rafe Judkins will be showrunner and lead writer of the series. As with the selection of Brandon Sanderson to finish the book series, Harriet found in Rafe a young artist with an abundance of talent and an abiding love for the series, having been reading the books since childhood. We have been assured that Rafe will have creative control over the television production, and he seems eager to consult with Harriet throughout the process. We wish Rafe the best, and look forward to a long and successful association with him. 
Eager to consult sounds good and he's a long term fan. Those two things don't really count for much, "Talent" is more important but they don't hurt.

Last point from Narg. Rafe is the Showrunner now, there is no guarantee that he won't be replaced either before the show goes to air or after. It happens.

That's all Narg has, Narg hopes it was helpful! If you know more please share! Narg is sure everyone wants to know more about the "Creative Mind" behind the show.

PS. Its been brought to Narg's attention that some humans(most likely ones who's first language is other than english) may not be sure how to pronounce Rafe. As far as Narg knows based on Survivor it's pronounced Ray-ph.

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