Executive producer (EP) is one of the top positions in the making of a commercial entertainment product. Depending on the medium, the executive producer may be concerned with management accounting or with associated legal issues (like copyrights or royalties). In films, the executive producer generally contributes to the film's budget and usually does not work on set, in contrast to most other producers.
In films, an executive producer finances the film or participates in the creative effort, but does not work on the set. His/her responsibilities vary from funding or attracting investors into the movie project to legal, scripting, marketing, advisory and supervising capacities.
The crediting of executive producers in the film industry has risen over time. In the mid-to-late 1990s, there were an average of just under two executive producers per film. In 2000, the number jumped to 2.5 (more than the number of standard 'producers'). In 2013, there were an average of 4.4 executive producers per film, compared with 3.2 producers.
In television, an executive producer usually supervises the creative content and the financial aspects of a production. Some writers (for example Stephen J. Cannell, Tina Fey and Ryan Murphy) have worked as both the creator and the producer of the same TV show. In case of multiple executive producers on a TV show, the one outranking the others is called the showrunner, or the leading executive producer.
In recorded music, record labels distinguish between an executive producer and a record producer. The executive producer is responsible for business decisions and more recently, organizing the recordings along with the music producer, whereas the record producer produces the music. Sometimes the executive producer organises the recording and selects sound engineers, session musicians, et al.
For example, in 2012, Jay-Z was announced as executive producer for NBA 2K13. His role consisted of appearing in an introduction, picking songs for the game's soundtrack and contributing to the design of its in-game menus "and other visual elements".
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