Sometimes, there are more producer credits on a show than acting credits and viewers can be excused for wondering: “Do they really need THAT many producers?”. Which begs the next question – one I’m often asked: “What does a producer do?”. Well, the answer is: “It depends.” Producers can be divided into two groups: Group #1 = “those that do something”, and Group #2 = “those that do next to nothing”. Falling firmly into the former category is a show’s Line Producer who’s charged with the unenviable tasks of constantly running the numbers to ensure the production comes in on time and on budget. In short, it’s the line producer’s job to lay down the hammer. And, occasionally, that means saying no. No to overages. No to that gorgeous but way out of the zone location. No to the Executive Producer toilet I ordered for my office.
He’ll be the guy to reel in the writers when they’re writing too big; the directors when they’re shooting to long. He’ll be the guy in the meeting keeping things realistic so that we don’t blow the budget on the first two episodes and have to end our first season with three consecutive clip shows. He makes sure the money ends up onscreen – for your viewing pleasure.
In short, Norman runs a tight ship. A tight, prompt, cost-efficient FTL-capable ship with retrofitted weaponry, a shuttle, and a couple of surprises in that sealed lower level mystery room.
And, to top it off, he has a British accent, which will come in handy if we need to cast a late-season villain.