July 26, 2021

Jeffrey Paul King on Elementary, Show-Running, and The Republic of Sarah

Jeffrey Paul King is the creator and showrunner of CW’s The Republic of Sarah, and was a writer and producer for all seven seasons of the acclaimed TV series Elementary starring Johnny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu.

What you will learn:

  • How Jeffrey’s work on Elementary led to the creation of his show The Republic of Sarah. He also shares about the inspiration behind the original concept for The Republic of Sarah and the research it required. [0:00-8:22]
  • What success means in the television industry, and the importance of understanding what creativity means to you. How the constraints placed on a series by a television network can be beneficial to the creative process. [8:22-16:37]
  • Why writing pilot episodes can be especially difficult to write and shoot and how a particular, accelerated plot structure in a pilot can make for a successful start to a series, using The Republic of Sarah as an example. [16:37-21:37]
  • How Jeffrey’s music and theater background evolved into him writing plays and eventually led him to UCLA to study screenwriting. How opportunities he had as an intern on beloved shows like Brothers and Sisters and Grey’s Anatomy blossomed into writing and producing opportunities on other shows, including Elementary. [21:37-30:08]
  • Why Jeffrey chose to focus so specifically on showrunning in film school, why he is personally drawn to television vs. film, and why he values diversity in his writers’ room. [30:08-40:58]
  • Advice Jeffrey would give to young people hoping to start a career in the entertainment industry, and the passion and determination it takes to become successful in this business. An anecdote about Shonda Rhimes that highlights the importance of being helpful in any way you can when first starting out in Hollywood. [40:58-46:59]
  • Jeffrey’s perspective on the values of younger generations, and why he views their work ethic as different (not worse) than the work ethic of older generations. The charity work Jeffrey is involved in, and what the future holds for The Republic of Sarah. [46:49-54:30]


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