[09/14/04 - 12:00 AM]
CBS Entertainment Forms Executive Team for Primetime Series with Promotions for Three Key Programming Executives

[via press release from CBS]


Wendi Trilling Promoted to Executive Vice President, Comedy Development

Laverne McKinnon To Head Drama Development

David Brownfield Elevated to Senior Vice President, Current Programming

Newly-named CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler has put together her executive programming team for primetime series, promoting Wendi Trilling to Executive Vice President, Comedy Development, handing the reigns of drama development to Laverne McKinnon and elevating David Brownfield to Senior Vice President, Current Programming.

Trilling was the programming executive responsible for developing and championing CBS's signature comedy, EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND, while also developing the Network's most successful comedies, including Monday night hits THE KING OF QUEENS (now a Wednesday success), STILL STANDING and, most recently, TWO AND A HALF MEN, the 2003-2004 season's most watched new comedy.

Under Trilling's auspices, this season CBS will launch the comedies LISTEN UP, starring Jason Alexander and Malcolm-Jamal Warner, as well CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE with John Goodman and Jean Smart.

"Thanks to Wendi's development skills, CBS has the top-rated comedy block (Monday night) on television,� said Tassler. "Having worked alongside her for several years now, I am constantly impressed by her comedic intuition and her ability to work with creative talent to turn a concept into a hit. Wendi's talents have helped make CBS America's Number One network and I'm thrilled to work with her in this new capacity."

Trilling has been Senior Vice President, Comedy Development at CBS since June 2000. She joined CBS in 1990 in the Current Programs Department. She was named Manager of Comedy/Drama Series Development in 1992 and named Associate Director, Comedy Development in 1993. She was promoted to Director of Comedy Development in 1994 and was named a Vice President in 1997.

McKinnon, who was upped to Senior Vice President, Drama Development, in April 2004, will assume Tassler's former position as head of CBS's drama development department.

Working with Tassler, McKinnon played a key role in developing some of television's most critically-acclaimed and commercially successful dramas, including last season's most watched new drama, COLD CASE; the Emmy-nominated JOAN OF ARCADIA; CSI: MIAMI; NCIS, and WITHOUT A TRACE.

For the upcoming season, McKinnon was involved in the development of CLUBHOUSE, dr. vegas and the highly anticipated CSI: NY.

�Laverne is a gifted executive who has been at my side for the development of some of CBS�s biggest hits," said Tassler. "She has a remarkable ability to identify strong material and to communicate and collaborate with writers and producers in a way that nurtures a project from script to pilot to successful series. With Laverne running the department, we have an executive that brings the talent, track record, passion and stability to continue CBS�s reputation for being the destination of choice for top drama projects.�

McKinnon has been Vice President, Drama Series Development, since May 2001. Prior to that, she held the position of Director, Drama Development since May 2000. From July 1988 to May 2000, McKinnon had been Director, Current Programming. She joined CBS in 1996 as Director, Children�s Programs.

Prior to joining CBS, McKinnon was Vice President, Creative Affairs, at Klasky Csupo, Inc., where she oversaw the development and sale of all television and feature projects for the Emmy Award-winning producers of �The Simpsons� and �Rugrats.� From 1991-1993, McKinnon worked in the television packaging department at Triad Artists.

Brownfield, Vice President, Current Programs since June 2003, has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Current Programs, assuming the position previously held by David Stapf, who was named President, Paramount Network Television last week.

In his position, Brownfield will run the current programming department and work with the producers of CBS's primetime comedy and drama series to maintain the quality and direction of the Network's established hit programs.

Brownfield, who joined CBS in 2001 as Director, Current Programming, most recently worked on COLD CASE, WITHOUT A TRACE and the new drama, CLUBHOUSE.

�David is one of the most impressive executives that I�ve ever worked with," said Tassler. "He has terrific communication skills and knows how to work with producers in a manner that serves the network, facilitates the creative process and creates an environment for programming to succeed," said Tassler. "David�s creativity, experience, professionalism and insight will be invaluable to me as we seek to program the next generation of hits that will sustain CBS�s momentum and grow our audience.�

Prior to joining CBS, Brownfield was a co-producer and writer on the comedy "Boy Meets World" (1998-2000). Before that, he was a development and current executive at ABC (1993-1997) where he helped develop "The Drew Carey Show" and "Lois & Clark: the New Adventures of Superman."

From 1989-1982, Brownfield was in the current programming department at Paramount Television. He began his career as a sports producer at KHJ-TV Los Angeles (now Viacom-owned KCAL).

  [september 2004]  


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