Television program creator

A television program creator is the person who developed a significant part of a TV show's format, concept, characters, and pilot script. They have sequel rights to the material as well.

Often, the creator is also the showrunner or a producer. Sometimes it is a writer of the series bible, or writers' guidelines.[1][unreliable source?] In the United States, a Writers Guild of America (WGA) screenwriting credit system governs credits. For example, the Writers Guild of America West provides specifications for creator credits that govern its members.[2] The Producers Guild of America's corresponding code for producers defines "Executive Producer" and similar roles but not an explicit "Creator" role.[3][4][failed verification]

Creator is a specific credit given explicitly in many shows. However, it has not always been a prominent, explicit credit. For example, Sydney Newman, the accepted creator of The Avengers (1961–69), was never given an explicit credit as creator; Newman never thought to ask for one.[5] The creator of a television show may retain rights to participate in profits, often to be paid by the production company as a percentage of fees that it receives from networks and distributors.[6] In 2014, for prime-time network TV shows, the WGA-required royalty to be paid to a writer with "created by" credit is approximately $1,000 per episode or higher.[7] Who merits creator credit is sometimes a matter of contention. In a 2013 legal case, a director sued a former writing partner for co-creator credit.[8]

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