[This edition of my Hit Parade—“The Bridge” bonus series is available to Slate Plus subscribers only. A link to the episode show page is below. To sign up for Plus—and tell Slate that Hit Parade sent you!—visit slate.com/hitparadeplus.]
In this mini-episode of Hit Parade, host Chris Molanphy welcomes Mara Kuge, President of Superior Music Corporation, who has placed hundreds of songs in various media—including the High Strung’s “The Luck You Got” as the theme to Showtime’s Shameless and shows like Killing Eve and Succession. Mara says that, in the era of peak TV, there are more opportunities than ever to place her clients’ music. But the job means “running a gauntlet” of music supervisors, showrunners, producers and networks—and a song isn’t guaranteed to make the final cut until the show airs. When it works, the rewards are great: After Shameless, the songwriter for the High Strung gained the financial freedom to pursue his passion as an author.