Anonymous asked in Entertainment & MusicTelevisionDrama · 3 months ago

What does it mean when the top-billed cast member of a TV series goes from cast member to cast member AND executive producer?

I know that executive producers provide the finances for various projects.  But what is the purpose of a cast member suddenly being credited as executive producer?  Is that because the ratings have plummeted and the series needs financial support, thus the cast member with the highest salary stepping up as executive producer?  Does that mean he/she is taking a pay cut?  I noticed on “Beverly Hills 90210” and “Smallville” (both of which lasted ten years), Jason Priestley and Tom Welling both became an executive producer on their respective series — Jason at the beginning of the 6th season of 90210, and Tom at the beginning of the 9th season.

3 Answers

  • 3 months ago

    The term producer and executive producer don't mean ANYTHING.  On some shows, the EP is the showrunner and is creatively in charge of everything.  On others, he might have done nothing but bankroll.  In some cases, it might just be that he was critical to getting the show picked up, but otherwise did nothing.

    The EP title can mean anything.  For these actors, it might just mean that they got more power and control on the show and this reflects that.  They might have put up money...or might not.  It might be just a way to pay them more money WITHOUT making it look like their acting payroll went up and thus having other co-stars want more money.  So you get the same amount as an actor that you got before but suddenly you're an EP and getting an extra bucket of money that nobody else gets...ostensibly because you're doing all this extra work, when really it's just a way to pay you more for your acting.

    So some producers work very hard and are creatively empowered.  Others are fake titles.

  • Anonymous
    3 months ago

    No, it generally means they get creative input or control at the level of producer. They get paid for both roles. Projects have started to offer this to actors as carrot to entice them, or to get them to stay on long running shows.

  • 3 months ago

    No, it just means that they bought into the series, and started making money beyond just their own salaries.

    For this kind of situation, an Executive Producer doesn't really make any of the decisions, they just become investors.

    It may have happened as part of contract negotiations.  Taking a percentage of the profits of the show, in lieu of up-front pay.

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