Count Galeazzo Ciano is famous for a good thing and a bad thing. The bad thing is his father-in-law had him tried and executed by firing squad. Not many sons-in-law are subjected to such treatment from their wife’s father, but not many men take Benito Mussolini’s daughter for their bride, either.

The nicer thing he’s famous for is a quote. He rarely gets credit for it so perhaps it would be more accurate to say the quote is well known while he is not. Either way, you’ve certainly heard some version of it:

As always, victory finds a hundred fathers but defeat is always an orphan.

There’s certainly wisdom in those words, even if they are no great secret. I was reminded of them as I watched CSI recently. Let me preface my point by saying I’m no expert on television production. While I do realise a modern production does involve the talents of a remarkable number of people … how many people can it take?

After the first commercial break, programs typically overlay a series of credits on the beginning of the meat of the story. The guest performers are always listed here, perhaps with some of the crew.

I was astounded to see a seemingly unending string of producer credits. These were not the entirely of the intro credits, mind you. The guest cast came first, followed by some of the crew. I recall credits for music, production design, and the director of photography, though there were certainly more. But the producers followed. To prove I don’t always exaggerate everything in the world, I present the credits for your examination, asking you to remember each of these credits appeared in sequence, one at a time:

Philip A. Conserva
Kim M. Cybulski

David Rambo

Dustin Lee Abraham

Steven Felder

Consulting Producer
Marlane Meyer

Supervising Producer
Sarah Goldfinger

Supervising Producer
Richard J. Lewis

Co-Executive Producer
Douglas Petrie

Co-Executive Producer
Kenneth Fink

Co-Executive Producer
Louis Shaw Milito

Executive Producers
Cynthia Chvatal
William Petersen

Executive Producer
Naren Shankar

Executive Producer
Jonathan Littman

See what I mean? And this was just the producer portion of the intro credits. The credits quoted here themselves required a minute and ten seconds to show, not including the ten second length of a flashback during which there were no credits. Certainly there are no shortage of fathers for this successful program.

For goodness sakes, the thirteen producer credits could have been reduced to just six had all the names for each type of producer been shown at the same time. I felt like I was watching a foreign film with subtitles.