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Q&A: What all those producers do

What all those producers do

As I watched the opening credits in the TV show NCIS, they seem to list 10 or more producers. What does a producer do, and why are there so many on this show?

Playwright David Mamet once wrote that an associate producer credit is "what you give to your secretary instead of a raise."

With that in mind, and noting that NCIS is pretty typical of TV shows in this regard, here is the breakdown of producer titles on TV shows, according to the Producers Guild of America and the Writers Guild of America:

• Executive producer: In charge of production, possibly creator of the show and perhaps also writes episodes.

• Co-executive producer: Usually a writer who has written full time for a show for years.

• Supervising producer: Supervises the creative process and new writers.

• Coordinating producer: Manages the show's shooting schedule.

• Producer: Manages a show's budget, may have also written an episode.

• Co-producer: A writer who contributed significantly to writing revisions.

• Consulting producer: Often experts in a field who help with details for authenticity; for example, a real police officer on a cop show.

• Associate producer: Runs day-to-day operations.

• Segment producer: Writes a segment or scene of a show.

• Line producer: Hires and manages production staff.

Leaving it all to the government

I am about to write my will. I want to bequeath to the U.S. government the balance of my estate. How do I go about leaving money, artifacts and real estate to the government?

We are journalists, not attorneys, so the best advice we can give is to suggest you contact an estate planning attorney to discuss the specifics and implications of your generous offer.

We did consult Mary L. Greenwood of the Brandon Family Law Center, who said generally that your will should include language that leaves money to the U.S. Treasury, and property to the U.S. government. She said your executor would then be responsible for making sure the assets get where you want them to go.

Correction

Our Oct. 5 column contained some incorrect information about the history of the NCAA basketball tournament in the Tampa Bay area. The men's Final 4 at what is now Tropicana Field was in 1999. A different year was listed. And in addition to the games mentioned, St. Petersburg also was host to a men's Sweet 16 round in 1998 and men's first- and second-round games in 1996.

Q&A: What all those producers do 10/15/09 [Last modified: Thursday, October 15, 2009 4:31am]
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