Understanding Credits


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Prompted by a recent discussion with Andy Dehnart at realityblurred.com, here’s the key to understanding credits in reality television:  Stop trying to make sense of them and start relying on context in relationship to the credits as a whole if you want to understand who’s who.

When you see nine Executive Producers listed on a show, a few could be network execs overseeing the show, a few could be owners or execs at the production company, and still others could be showrunners or even talent and their managers.

The difference between a Co-Executive Producer and a Supervising Producer? Sometimes none.  A show may have one or the other or both (in which case the Supervising Producer is likely supporting the Co-EP), and each title can stand without the other.  I’m aware of a few companies that don’t issue Co-EP credits for some reason, so the Supervising Producer is overseeing some part of production and/or post and reporting to an EP.

The difference between a Story Editor and a Story Producer?  Whatever the company decides to call the members of its story team.  In cases where both titles exist on a show, the Story Producer title is likely reserved for the more experienced / senior of the two.

There’s also the Senior Story Editor or Senior Story Producer title, which denotes senior members of the story team in field or post.  A Supervising Story Producer, when one is titled, oversees the story team and reports to either a Supervising Producer, Co-EP, or directly to the EP if there is no Supervising Story Producer or Co-EP on the show.

Remember that experienced writers on traditionally covered scripted shows can often negotiate a producer credit based on experience and seniority on the show. Screenwriter John August explains all of that here.

In short, it’s all negotiable.

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