TV producers are found in everything from drama, sitcoms, newscasts, TV movies, reality TV, game shows, talk shows, documentaries and music videos. Producing for TV requires a detail-oriented mind, savvy money tactics, ability to stick to a schedule, and cooperation with people, among other skills. There are several different kinds of producers working on any given television show. While the short-term goals may differ in each area, the end goal of all television producers is a successful broadcast.
The executive producer is the person who deals with the money that makes the show possible. His first and last goal is to make sure the finances are in order so that the program gets off the ground. Other than dealing with money, however, an executive producer may make arrangements for the script and deal with the stars, keeping them happy and content with the program. While the executive producer does have a say in the direction, or may even have final cut, most prefer to refrain from the day-to-day production, and operate remotely.
The producer is the one who runs production on a daily basis. She is responsible for decisions that keep the production going forward. Because she is responsible for every aspect for the production, she may sometimes double as a producer/director or even triple as a producer/writer/director. Her endgame is keeping the production going in all three areas.
The associate producer is the assistant to the producer. She helps with whatever the producer needs, and is there to take over her duties when the producer is otherwise incapacitated. She may be responsible for fact-checking, coordinating with the writers and performers, and making sure the producer is organized and ready to do her job as efficiently as possible.
The field producer is the one who handles on-location filming duties. This kind of producer works outside of the studio, usually in documentary filmmaking, news reporting or reality television, and is prepared to handle any number of situations that may occur in specific locations. The field producer must coordinate with other studio producers, field crew and actors to produce the best show possible.
Johnny Kilhefner is a writer with a focus on technology, design and marketing. Writing for more than five years, he has contributed to Writer's Weekly, PopMatters, Bridged Design and APMP, among many other outlets.