Executive producer

From Academic Kids

Executive producer is a role in the entertainment industry that is difficult to define clearly. Executive producers vary in involvement, responsibility, and power. Some executive producers have hands-on control over every aspect of production. Executive producers are commonly the main investor or financier of a project. This particularly applies to the music industry.

In television, the executive producer is frequently the creator of the project, and often a writer. For example, in a series such as The Simpsons, the creator of the series (Matt Groening) will be listed as executive producer for each episode, and then the individual episodes will also list the writer as executive producer. This is because whilst each teleplay is written by only one or two writers, all of the writers will contribute in some way to the episode, adding dialogue and suggesting ideas. The executive producer writer for the episode oversees this.

From 1959 to 1967, David Dortort was listed as the producer of the long-running Western Bonanza. When he handed over production duties to Robert Blees and signed away all but minimum involvement in the series (he wished to spend all of his time on the series The High Chaparral), he was named "executive producer" as he created the series.

There's also a practice of naming celebrities executive producers of a project in order to help gain approval. This is more common in film, for example in Donnie Darko, actress Drew Barrymore was given an executive producer credit because she contributed money to the film and helped raise its awareness.


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