Click here for Done Deal Pro home page

Done Deal Pro Home Page

Loading

Go Back   Done Deal Pro Forums > Business > Business Questions and Advice
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-16-2017, 02:00 PM   #1
michaellino202
New User
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 16
Default TV program creator. What credits are fair?

I could only hope this would happen to me, but I was wondering... If you are an unproduced writer, and after an outline, you write the original pilot (which could lead to a subsequent series)... As well as the 'created by' credit, is it the norm for a TV program creator/writer to be given the 'executive producer' credit (when you first sign a contract)?
michaellino202 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2017, 02:34 PM   #2
Wallman
New User
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 17
Default Re: TV program creator. What credits are fair?

Your title/fees are ultimately matters to discuss and strategize with your reps, primarily your agent and attorney.

For an unproduced/unknown writer, I've heard it could be anywhere from Supervising Producer to EP. In my case, a friend and I sold a digital series. My attorney pushed for EP but in the end we got Co-EP on the show.

Created by credit is determined by the WGA and requires a minimum of 6 episodes to qualify. We only ended up doing 3 eps so didn't get that.
Wallman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2017, 04:07 PM   #3
michaellino202
New User
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 16
Default Re: TV program creator. What credits are fair?

Hi, you mentioned:
"Created by credit is determined by the WGA and requires a minimum of 6 episodes to qualify. We only ended up doing 3 eps so didn't get that."


I fully understand credits are determined by the WGA, but what you have mentioned after this doesn't sound right. As,

http://www.wga.org/contracts/know-yo...parated-rights

- the WGA states, for a pilot show only:

Generally, if no format has been written for the series, the "Created by" credit will go to the writer(s) who received the "Story by" or "Written by" credit on the pilot.

Therefore someone who submits an original pilot script (assuming they also came up with the story), would automatically qualify for the "created by" credit concerning this first episode.


For a series, the WGA states:

There are two ways a writer becomes eligible to seek "Created by" credit on an original series:
a. a writer writes a format for the series; or

b. a writer receives "Story by" or "Written by" credit on the pilot episode of the series.


Point b is highly significant. If you have received the "written by" credit in the pilot, you would qualify for the "created by" credit in subsequent epsiodes.

How could a writer who came up with the complete story and script to begin with (thus qualifying for the "written by" credit), not get a 'created by' credit in the subsequent TV series that follows. It wouldn't make sense if they didn't.

In regards, to the producer credits, I understand they are not governed but WGA.

I would like to add, I have taken a look at nearly every TV series on film sites, and where it is not based on another person's material/another source, the person who created the pilot script i.e who came up with the first story (thus creating the characters) and penned the pilot (which is pretty much considered as the first episode), is awarded an 'executive producer' credit. Granted, these writers have had previous credits, but what they all have in common as 'executive producer' is they 'created' the program.
michaellino202 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2017, 05:03 PM   #4
Wallman
New User
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 17
Default Re: TV program creator. What credits are fair?

From that same page, the line before "The 'Created by' credit on a series is not determined until there is a series order. " To qualify as a series order, at least a "short order", I believe it has to be a minimum 6 eps. That's what WGA credit department told me when I rang them last year, excited that I scored a creator credit, but alas. But for sure, if you get "written by" on the pilot and there's a series order, "created by" is pretty safe to assume.

And, EP credit is not always a given. Mickey Fisher got it for Extant, but Eoghan O'Donnell got Co-EP for The Messengers and Philip Iscove got Supervising Producer for Sleepy Hollow (very loose IP, would argue it's more original). In the end, depends on how much buzz, heat, and leverage your agent and attorney have when negotiating.
Wallman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2017, 06:14 PM   #5
Ronaldinho
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 2,288
Default Re: TV program creator. What credits are fair?

Quote:
Originally Posted by michaellino202 View Post
I could only hope this would happen to me, but I was wondering... If you are an unproduced writer, and after an outline, you write the original pilot (which could lead to a subsequent series)... As well as the 'created by' credit, is it the norm for a TV program creator/writer to be given the 'executive producer' credit (when you first sign a contract)?
No.

I don't want to say it's never happened, but the best I've heard of for a real first-timer was a co-ep credit. (And yes, this was negotiated at the time of the sale of the pilot - a certain number of years of a guaranteed fee/credit.) Lower credits are common.

Usually that credit is guaranteed for two seasons, although I know people who have gotten it for the life of the show. Bear in mind, though, that it may be a meaningless (but lucrative!) credit as far as your participation on the show. You'll be credited as if you were on staff, but whether or not you're actually in the room, and how much voice you have in the room, will be at the discretion of the showrunner.

Even a few minor (but meaningful) produced credits can drastically change your standing, but generally as a first-timer you're going to be attached to a showrunner, and they'll also generally not want to staff people below you that have more experience than you.

edited to add:

Now, more than ever, this is the wrong thing to worry about. Screenwriting is about a career, not a job. The way the market has changed, you're much less likely to find yourself in a "create one hit, on easy street for life" situation anyway. Your agent will get you the best deal they can, and your job is to learn as much as possible while helping to make the show as good and successful as it can be.
Ronaldinho is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2017, 06:54 PM   #6
michaellino202
New User
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 16
Default Re: TV program creator. What credits are fair?

Wallman, you mentioned 2 writers who did not get executive producer credit for all episodes:
Eoghan O'Donnell and Phil Iscove

I get why Eoghan O'Donnell was co-executive for 11 episodes and executive producer for 2, as in subsequent episodes, his written input substantially reduced. Most of the episodes that followed the pilot had stories and screenplays written by other people.

I also get why Phil Iscove recieved supervising producer for 31 episodes. As you mentioned, it is loosely based on someone else's work. (There are also 4 other creators). Lastly, out of a total of 62 episodes, he has written by credit on 1 episode, story by credit on 3 other episodes, and teleplay credit on 1. Therefore much of the work was written by others.

Ronaldinho, you mentioned
"I don't want to say it's never happened, but the best I've heard of for a real first-timer was a co-ep credit."

I would understand a writer/creator of the pilot not receiving an 'executive producer' credit if they had little writing input/writing credits in the episodes that followed the pilot, as indicated in the 2 cases above, but I was thinking more of the fact where any creator of the series has writing credits in a lot of the episodes that follow the pilot, and if this were to happen, I would struggle to find a case where they were not executive producer.

Also, in the writer's contract, permitting negotiations benefitting the creator of the program, the network could give the writer the opportunity to write
X amount of scripts in the series. If their material is used in a lot of the series, I would again see it difficult to not award executive producer, if they
are going to be responsible for a lot of the written content in that series.
michaellino202 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2017, 08:29 PM   #7
Wallman
New User
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 17
Default Re: TV program creator. What credits are fair?

Your level on a show is determined at the outset, while episodes are doled out after that and aren't related to determining your level, rather your level might determine the number of episodes you get, but that's really up to the showrunner. In those examples, they all got the best deals they could get at the time given the situation.

And Ronaldinho is right to redirect you. Honestly, especially if you're a first-timer, you're lucky to sell a show and get whatever credit you can on it. What's really important is how you perform as that will determine your next job and the one after that.
Wallman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2017, 01:16 AM   #8
AnyOtherName
User
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 196
Default Re: TV program creator. What credits are fair?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronaldinho View Post
No.

I don't want to say it's never happened, but the best I've heard of for a real first-timer was a co-ep credit. (And yes, this was negotiated at the time of the sale of the pilot - a certain number of years of a guaranteed fee/credit.) Lower credits are common.

Usually that credit is guaranteed for two seasons, although I know people who have gotten it for the life of the show. Bear in mind, though, that it may be a meaningless (but lucrative!) credit as far as your participation on the show. You'll be credited as if you were on staff, but whether or not you're actually in the room, and how much voice you have in the room, will be at the discretion of the showrunner.

Even a few minor (but meaningful) produced credits can drastically change your standing, but generally as a first-timer you're going to be attached to a showrunner, and they'll also generally not want to staff people below you that have more experience than you.
Nowadays, there seem to be almost as many exceptions to this as there are expressions of the "rule."

There is, for instance, a network show premiering this fall whose creator, EP, and co-showrunner has never been in a writers' room and has never had a meaningful produced credit.
AnyOtherName is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2017, 10:28 AM   #9
michaellino202
New User
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 16
Default Re: TV program creator. What credits are fair?

Yes. I was wondering, would the terms of the type of 'producer credit' the creator can get, be set when negotiating the contract terms of the pilot (if they like the script and want to offer a contract), or could it be negotiated at a later point when a series is ordered (i.e the TV network likes the pilot
show and wants to make a series). Personally, I was thinking the terms of producer credits for the creator might be agreed at the signing of the first contract.

I find it too much of a coincidence the creator (s) of a TV program who have alot of 'written by' credits in a lot of episodes in the series, also have an 'executive producer' credit. I can only assume that at the beginning of the contract, (or according to the Producer's of America Guidelines), the creator/writer has said they were willing to write the remainder of the episodes, or contribute largely to the remainder of the episodes, thus entitling them to the 'executive producer' credit.
michaellino202 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2017, 05:34 PM   #10
JoeBanks
Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,815
Default Re: TV program creator. What credits are fair?

Quote:
Originally Posted by michaellino202 View Post
I find it too much of a coincidence the creator (s) of a TV program who have alot of 'written by' credits in a lot of episodes in the series, also have an 'executive producer' credit. I can only assume that at the beginning of the contract, (or according to the Producer's of America Guidelines), the creator/writer has said they were willing to write the remainder of the episodes, or contribute largely to the remainder of the episodes, thus entitling them to the 'executive producer' credit.
it varies from showrunner to showrunner. Matthew Weiner and Aaron Sorkin are notorious for taking a "written by" credit on most or all of the scripts, regardless of how much input they actually had (in fairness to them, my impression is they do substantial rewriting on all the scripts in a given season)

conversely, David Milch completely rewrites all the first drafts of his assistant's scripts but usually only takes one "written by" credit per season. showrunners like him are a mensch, willing to give even new writers sole credit
JoeBanks is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:26 PM.


Powered by vBulletin Version 3.6.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Done Deal Pro

eXTReMe Tracker