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An executive producer (EP) enables the making of a commercial entertainment product. The EP may be concerned with management accounting and/or with associated legal issues (like copyrights or royalties). An EP generally contributes to the film's budget and may or may not work on set.
In television, an executive producer often supervises the creative content as well as the financial aspects of a production. Some writers (for example Stephen J. Cannell and Tina Fey) have been the creator and also the producer of the same TV show. Other dual roles may include the executive director(s) starring in the show they produce, such as Full Throttle Saloon reality TV star, Jesse James Dupree. Still other shows may have more than one executive producer working on a TV show where there can be one among them who outranks the others. This position is known as the "showrunner," or operational executive producer.
An executive producer who has created and established a successful TV series may still be credited as such, even if they have actually resigned, retired, or been dismissed from the show.
In recorded music, record labels distinguish between an executive producer and a record producer. The executive producer is responsible for business decisions, whereas the music producer produces the music. Sometimes the executive producer will enable the creative visions of featured artists by managing where and when to record, selection and employment of sound engineers or session musicians, et al.
In the video game industry, the title "executive producer" is not well-defined. It may refer to an external producer, from the publisher, who works with the developers. In 2012 Jay-Z was announced as executive producer for NBA 2K13. As such he appeared in an introduction, picked songs for the game's soundtrack and contributed to the design of its in-game menus "and other visual elements".
In some audio/visual productions, an individual may receive an executive producer credit in an honorary fashion to recognize his or her contributions to the history of the project. Examples include comic book writer Stan Lee, who is credited as executive producer on most motion pictures based upon his Marvel Comics creations, and Douglas Adams, who is credited as executive producer of the 2005 movie adaptation of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which was not filmed until several years after Adams' death in 2001.