How many producers does it take to make crappy TV nowadays?!

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Dillydipper, Aug 6, 2009.

  1. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    Location:
    Harrisburg PA
    I was watching a Bones rerun this evening, with my wife, and early-on, I just kept shouting, "Look, there's ANOTHER one!", and she told me to stop distracting her. Well, just for you, I saved the ep, and wrote down all the producers of this particular episode, from the credits at the beginning. And remember, this doesn't include writer, director, etc...JUST "Producers":

    Co-Producer - David H Jeffrey
    Producer - David Boreanaz
    Producer - Emily Deschanel
    Producer - Karine Rosenthal
    Producer - Kathy Reichs
    Producer - Elizabeth Benjamin
    Produced By - Jan DeWitt
    Consulting Producer - Craig Silverstein
    Consulting Producer - Josh Berman
    Co-Executive Producer - Carla Kettner
    Co-Executive Producer - Scott William
    Co-Executive Producer - Ian Toynton
    Co-Executive Producer - Steve Beers
    Executive Producer - Steven Nathan
    Executive Producer - Barry Josephson
    Executive Producer - Hart Hanson

    Now...first, let me say the quality of the show has gone downhill in the past two years, greatly. The past two seasons' finales have stretched credibility beyond hope. Tonight's episode seemed like the writers stepped back, and they hired-on the staff from Murder She Wrote because they felt sorry for them. But NOW I think I understand...

    Ya got 15 people taking a "producer" credit, people! Two of 'em are your lead stars (who surely don't have time to "produce" anything), one of 'em wrote the books you are defaming with these bad episodes, ya got two "consulting producers" (I thought producers were people who got you the money to finish the production, and they had nothing to "consult" you on, if they hired the right people to write and direct...!).

    Ya got FOUR "Co-Executive Producer"s, whatever that means, but apparently they're not as important as the "EXECUTIVE PRODUCER" - of which you have THREE - who seemingly don't "co-executive-produce"...because they're too cool? And lookie way up at the top: one lone "co-producer". So...if there's no other "co-producer"s...who's he "co-produce"ing WITH...?!

    And my favorite is, right in the middle: "Produced By Jan DeWitt". Who apparently did the producing. Which makes all these other people...? :confused:
  2. wave

    wave Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Allen Park, MI
    Two. One to get drunk and another to write his ideas down on the back of a bar napkin.
  3. Driver 8

    Driver 8 Do go back to Rockville

    Location:
    Mississippi
    I think we are presently in the golden age of television, although I agree with your assessment that the "producer" credit is too freely given. Perhaps if B.J. Novak were not a "co-excutive producer" of The Office, we would be spared his feeble attempts at "acting" on that same show.
  4. Director

    Director Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    A lot of these procuders are the writers for the show. Even though they may not have written that particular episode they still contributed ideas in the "writer's room", hence their credit as some type of producer.
  5. daglesj

    daglesj Forum Resident

    Location:
    Norfolk, UK
    You can always tell a show is in a downward spiral when half the cast start getting a producers title. "Give me a Producer credit or I quit!"

    Its a definite sign of "oh dear...we've lost control!"

    We really enjoyed the first couple of seasons of Bones but the third season dropped big time. We were interested to see how they handled the 'Bones in the UK' episode as generally the script writers seemed to have some intelligence.

    Ermmm no...they went for every single cliche of how Americans (as in if every american family was the Griswalds from the Vacation movies) think Britain is like. It was as if an episode of Family Guy was set in the UK...but not funny in any way.

    Not really looking forward to Season 4 as muggins here has to buy them for xmas presents!
  6. Mike from NYC

    Mike from NYC Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Surprise, AZ
    Wow, that sounds how the dot com era began, but it would have probably been something other than alcohol :laugh::laugh:
  7. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden MichiGort Staff

    Location:
    Livonia, MI
    A lot of the shows have a staff of writers and even directors that they keep together and give some form of Producer credit on every show. When a show wants to attract or retain an established star, they will sometimes offer a producer credit to top-billed actors as well. This usually implies that they have some creative input on the show although how that works varies on a case by case/personality by personality basis.

    Regards,
  8. minerwerks

    minerwerks Well-Known Member

    Jason hit it, the people who make things go in TV are the writers. A writer creates the show, a writer is the "showrunner" (the boss, and not always the creator). When the original team moves on, new writers are hired to run the show. Many still keep the producer credit even after leaving the show.

    Yes, the actors can get producer credits negotiated in their deals (especially now as the networks are cutting costs big time), and someone in there is actually the person who manages the day to day physical production. Some of the Executive Producers are probably development executives at the studio as well.
  9. bencasey

    bencasey New Member

    I believe the real producers are referred to as show runners these days. This was a title that never existed until recently. That's because they now give everyone and their grandmother a producer credit and the title no longer means a thing. Used to be, one EP, one P, one D, one W and that was it.

    To the above poster who referred to this as the "golden age", I assume that was meant to be humorous, which it was.
  10. tootull

    tootull Tightrope 'cross Niagara, don't cut my wire.

    Bones

    Yeah, they pretty much have lost us as viewers after this stoopid episode.

    "The End in the Beginning"
    All of the regular characters are seen living different lives. Booth and Brennan are married and own a nightclub called "The Lab", but when a body is found at the club, Detectives Cam Saroyan and Jared Booth are called to investigate. However, not everything is as it seems.

    End game.
  11. jwoverho

    jwoverho Forum Resident

    Location:
    Mobile, AL USA
    Usually, the more producers and/or screenwriters listed, the worse the product. I can usually tell if there are 3 or 4 screenwriters involved that there has been extensive "salvaging" of the project, although salvage might not be the best choice of words.
  12. Captain Groovy

    Captain Groovy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Freedonia, USA
    MOST are writers.

    It's negotiated in their contracts. Just an ego boost and a important credit for their resume, really.

    Jeff
  13. MerlinMacuser

    MerlinMacuser New Member

    There should be a new job title then...something like "ultimate master with no equal" producer. Or the 800 pound gorilla...
  14. John B Good

    John B Good Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    NS, Canada
    As I describe much of the modern economy, never have so many been paid so much to produce so little of value.
  15. DOUBTINGTHOMAS29

    DOUBTINGTHOMAS29 Active Member

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Just one, Jerry Bruckheimer.
  16. Driver 8

    Driver 8 Do go back to Rockville

    Location:
    Mississippi
    If you include what's on cable, this is without a doubt the best era for U.S. television in the history of the medium.
  17. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    Location:
    Harrisburg PA
    I side with Driver 8; there is really plenty of top-notch scripted drama and comedy out there...there also just happens to be a much larger pile of dross to sweep out of the way to find the good stuff.

    Getting back to this "FIFTEEN *$#&@'N PRODUCERS ON ONE EPISODE?!" thing; I don't care if it's contractual stroking of somebody who doesn't deserve it, or glad-handing for somebody who didn't earn it. It just cheapens the status of producers in general, who should get rightful credit if their behind-the-scenes efforts are factors that helps the show get made.

    Maybe they're handin' 'em out like leaflets these days because...you have to be Union to be a "gaffer"...? ;)
  18. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    Location:
    Harrisburg PA
    :laugh:

    May as well close the thread, truer wisdom isn't gonna surface here!
  19. Dan Halen

    Dan Halen Active Member

    Location:
    New York
    I would agree that this past decade has been the best era for U.S. television, and not only for the U.S. Here are some of the many stellar shows that have debuted since '99. Anyone who thinks John's comment was humorous should resume napping.

    Freaks & Geeks
    The Sopranos
    Deadwood
    The West Wing
    Boomtown
    The Wire
    The Shield
    Swingtown
    Big Love
    Six Feet Under
    Rescue Me
    30 Rock
    Mad Men
    Curb Your Enthusiasm
    Californication
    Arrested Development
    Life On Mars (The original BBC version)
    Ashes To Ashes
    The Office (Both versions, especially the original)
    Nurse Jackie
    Breaking Bad
    Weeds
    Family Guy
    Undeclared
    Extras
    The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
    Real Time With Bill Maher
  20. il pleut

    il pleut New Member

    geez, i have doubts. it greatly depends on one's taste. and of course there's a lot more programming being pumped out. i watch less tv now than i ever have, cable or not.
  21. Driver 8

    Driver 8 Do go back to Rockville

    Location:
    Mississippi
    You left out Veronica Mars. :D
  22. Dan Halen

    Dan Halen Active Member

    Location:
    New York
    I've never actually seen it, but I know a few people who absolutely loved it. I'll have to catch up one of these days.
  23. Driver 8

    Driver 8 Do go back to Rockville

    Location:
    Mississippi
    In its first season, it just may have been the best show of all of the wonderful shows from the past decade; however, there was a significant drop-off in quality in seasons two and three. But I would highly recommend picking up the first season DVD.
  24. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    Location:
    Harrisburg PA
    Awright, awright...I'm losin' track of this thread...just how many "producer" credits do you expect to see on any given episode of some of your favorite series?

    Before you answer, pull out one of your favorites if you have it on disc, and just count the producer's credits that roll after the show theme.

    I wonder how many producer credits show up on your average "quality" series episode, compared with those on a less-praised series episode.
  25. Dan Halen

    Dan Halen Active Member

    Location:
    New York
    Thanks for the recommendation.