Key Fox TV exec seeks greener pastures at Paramount

MUMBAI: Gail Berman the Fox Television network president of entertainment is said to be leaving to take an unspecified role at Paramount Pictures.


An AP report indicates that Paramount is in discussions with Berman about a senior creative role at the studio and hopes to reach a deal soon. Paramount issued a statement saying, "Berman is one of the most talented executives in the entertainment industry, with great relationships, exceptional taste, and an amazing creative track record." Fox and News Corp have not commented on the news.

Another report in The Hollywood Reporter indicates Berman may take on a role akin to that held by Sherry Lansing, who oversaw the studio's creative decisions until her retirement. It is also not clear as to who will be succeed her at Fox. Speculation centered on FX Networks president Peter Liguori and 20th Century Fox TV president Dana Walden



Berman would be the first high-profile hire of Paramount head Brad Grey, who himself took the top spot at Paramount from Lansing earlier this month. Berman has led Fox for five years, a relatively long tenure in the pressure-cooker job of network entertainment. After its traditional slow start, Fox caught fire in January with the return of American Idol. Largely on the strength of that show, Fox is currently No. 1 this season among viewers aged 18-to-49. It ranks fourth when all viewers are counted.

The pressure to make a quick decision on a replacement for Berman is heightened by Fox's recent shift to a year-round programming cycle. This means that in addition to presenting its plans for the second half of the year to advertisers in May, the network is scheduled to launch a miniseason of new and returning series by mid-summer.

Berman's efforts to develop hits have been hampered by a schedule that is interrupted by Major League Baseball playoffs in October and November, when rival networks are building audiences for new programmes.

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