[05/23/06 - 12:00 AM]
TNT and TBS Originals Team Announces New Execs, Promotions & Restructuring

[via press release from TNT]

TNT and TBS Originals Team Announces New Execs, Promotions & Restructuring

Lillah McCarthy Joins TBS and TNT as Vice President of Series Programming

Nina Howie Hired as Vice President of Comedy for TBS; Sam Linsky Promoted to Vice President of Drama for TNT

Sharon Byrens Named Vice President of Development, Sponsored Programming; David Hudson Named Vice President of Production, Sponsored Programming

The TNT and TBS original programming group is welcoming two new additions to its roster of executives while also giving three current execs new duties to better serve the needs of the networks, it was announced today by department heads Michael Wright, senior vice president of original programming for TBS and TNT, and Sandra Dewey, senior vice president of business affairs and original production for TBS and TNT original programming. The two recent hires include Lillah McCarthy as vice president of series programming for TBS and TNT and Nina Howie as vice president of comedy for TBS. Sam Linsky has been promoted to vice president of drama for TNT, while Sharon Byrens is taking the new role of vice president of development and David Hudson the new role of vice president of production, both working on sponsored programming, for TBS and TNT. All five execs are based in Los Angeles, with McCarthy, Howie, Linsky and Byrens reporting to Wright and Hudson reporting to Dewey.

�As TBS and TNT continue to grow their original programming portfolios, including new comedies on TBS and ventures in sponsor-related programming on both networks, these new hires, promotions and responsibilities reflect the changing needs of the networks,� said Wright. �We�re very fortunate to have such an incredibly talented and respected group of executives working with us, and we look forward to working together as we continue to make TBS and TNT key destinations for viewers seeking high-quality original programming.�

�This new executive structure will help the TBS and TNT originals team continue to build dynamic relationships with the best talent in the industry,� said Dewey. �It will also allow us to put increased focus on working with the network ad sales departments in creating groundbreaking partnerships that link to our original programming. David Hudson has been at the forefront of this initiative and brings a track record of experience and success to this newly reorganized venture.�

As vice president of series programming for TBS and TNT, McCarthy will focus on the development and production of new comedy series for TBS and new drama series for TNT. McCarthy most recently served the networks as an original series consultant and was instrumental in the development of TNT�s hit drama The Closer and new series Saved, as well as TBS�s upcoming comedy series My Boys. Prior to joining TBS and TNT, McCarthy was the executive producer of the series Early Edition and Charlie Hoover, as well as numerous television pilots, both comedies and dramas. She began her career in the entertainment business as an actress before moving to the other side of the camera. Beginning as a current-programming executive at ABC, she eventually worked her way to a position as senior vice president of series programming for FOX, where she was instrumental in the development and production of both comedy and drama series during the network�s formative years. Some of the series under her auspices included The Simpsons, Married�With Children, Get A Life, Herman�s Head, True Colors, Parker Lewis Can�t Lose, Alien Nation and 21 Jump Street. She has also directed half-hour multi-camera television comedies, run her own literary and talent management company and served as executive vice president for Kopelson Productions, where she supervised television development for the company.

Howie�s duties as vice president of comedy for TBS include overseeing all original programming for the network. She came to TBS from Touchstone Television, where she served as vice president, comedy series, responsible for overseeing new comedy development, as well as current series. During her tenure at Touchstone, she was responsible for such shows as Hope & Faith, My Wife and Kids, Life with Bonnie, Less Than Perfect, Rodney and the new comedy series Let�s Rob... Prior to joining Touchstone Television, Howie was a development assistant at The Cloudland Company, producers of The Job. She was also a production coordinator for The Cosby Show and a development assistant at Ogiens & Kane, as well as a development assistant at MTV for the series Remote Control. Howie earned a bachelor of science in communications from Syracuse University.

As vice president of drama for TNT, Linsky will be responsible for supervising all original movies and series for the network. Linsky most recently served as director of development for TNT and helped supervise the development and production of last summer�s TNT hit Into the West and the upcoming Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King. He joined the network in 1997, first serving as assistant to the vice president of original programming, and then working his way up to manager and then director. Linsky came to TNT from Castle Rock Entertainment, where he served as assistant to the vice president of production, providing story notes on projects in development and coordinating incoming and outgoing submissions.

Byrens� duties as vice president of development, sponsored programming, and Hudson�s duties as vice president of production, sponsored programming, will be to oversee the development and production sides of the originals team�s interaction with ad sales. This interaction is tied to such initiatives as client-sponsored original movies, like TNT�s Johnson & Johnson Spotlight PresentationsSM; product integration in original series and movies; TBS�s movie showcases, like the popular Dinner & a Movie; and digital extensions of both networks� original programming.

Among the many projects Byrens has shepherded at the network are the highly acclaimed Johnson & Johnson Spotlight PresentationSM The Wool Cap and this summer�s much-anticipated The Ron Clark Story, starring Matthew Perry. Byrens came to the company from Showtime Networks, Inc., where she was vice president of original programming, supervising the development and production of some of the network�s most notable original films. During her tenure, she oversaw production for such films as the Emmy� and Golden Globe�-winning The Passion of Ayn Rand, Twilight of the Golds, the Oscar�-winning Gods and Monsters, The Day Reagan Was Shot and Stealing Sinatra, among dozens of others.

5/23/2006 - Hudson most recently served as vice president of production & production finance for TBS and TNT original programming. The list of assets includes both licensed programming and in-house programming, such as 10 Items or Less, The Comedy Festival, 2005 Black Movie Awards, TBS Movie Extra, Dinner & A Movie, Movie and A Makeover. Prior to joining TBS and TNT, Hudson has served as a co-series producer of the highly touted Earth�s Fury for TLC, producer of Final Report for Multimedia Television and War Games for TBS and numerous credits as executive in charge of production and line producer. His other credits include Hard Copy, A Current Affair, HBO�s Entertainment News, Trial Watch, History of Christianity, I Survived a Disaster, Inspector Gadget�s Field Trip, Trashed, Last One Standing II, Look, Prince�s Interactive Birthday Party and World Gone Wild, to name a few. In 1998, he created his own production company with the aim of fostering and developing highly informative and entertaining reality-based programming at a manageable price. Under the banner of David Hudson Productions, he has developed numerous �reality-based� programs and has served as a budgetary consultant on many network, cable and syndicated programs. Hudson recently graduated from 2005/2006 Executive Leadership Development Program at UCLA�s prestigious Anderson School of Leadership.

Turner Network Television (TNT), a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., is television�s destination for drama and one of cable�s top-rated networks. It offers original movies and series, including the detective drama series The Closer, starring Golden Globe� and Screen Actors Guild Awards� nominee Kyra Sedgwick; Saved, a new character-driven drama starring Tom Everett Scott; and this summer�s eagerly anticipated anthology series Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King. TNT is also home to powerful one-hour dramas, such as Law & Order, Without a Trace, Las Vegas, Cold Case, ER, NYPD Blue, Charmed and Judging Amy; broadcast premiere movies; compelling prime-time specials, such as the Screen Actors Guild Awards�; and championship sports coverage, including NASCAR and the NBA. TNT is also available in high-definition.

TBS, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., is television�s �very funny� network. It serves as home to such hot contemporary comedies as Sex and the City, Everybody Loves Raymond, Family Guy, Seinfeld and Friends; original comedy series, like the upcoming scripted comedies My Boys and 10 Items or Less; specials and special events, like The Comedy Festival in Las Vegas, for which TBS serves as title sponsor; blockbuster movies; and hosted movie showcases.

Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, is a major producer of news and entertainment product around the world and a leading provider of programming for the television industry.

  [may 2006]  


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