Reorganization Includes New Roles for Lillah McCarthy, Brett Weitz and Kathy Busby, Plus Newly Hired Unscripted Development Exec David Eilenberg
TNT and TBS‘s original programming group is undergoing a reorganization that includes new roles for three current executives. Lillah McCarthy will shift into a new position as senior vice president of TNT and TBS Original Productions, heading up the networks’ in-house production company. Brett Weitz has been promoted to senior vice president of scripted development for TNT and TBS. And Kathy Busby will take on a new role as vice president of TNT and TBS Original Productions, reporting to McCarthy.
Yesterday, TBS and TNT announced the addition of David Eilenberg as senior vice president of unscripted development. All four executives are based in Los Angeles, with McCarthy, Weitz and Eilenberg reporting to Michael Wright, president, head of programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies.
Lillah McCarthy most recently served as senior vice president of original programming for TBS and TNT, focusing on the development and production of new comedy series for TBS and new drama series for TNT.
“With an increased emphasis on building up our in-house production arm, we needed an executive who could bring true experience and great taste to the task,” said Wright. “Lillah McCarthy has been a powerful force behind some of our most popular original series, making her an ideal choice to head up TBS and TNT Original Productions, an important and growing part of our business.”
McCarthy initially began working with TBS and TNT as an original series consultant, instrumental in the development of TNT’s hit drama The Closer. Since formally joining TBS and TNT in 2006 as vice president of series programming, McCarthy has overseen the development of such hit series as TNT’s Rizzoli & Isles, Leverage, Falling Skies and Franklin & Bash.
Prior to her work with TBS and TNT, McCarthy was the executive producer of the dramatic series Early Edition, starring Kyle Chandler, 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 as a current-programming executive at ABC. She later moved to Fox, where she served as senior vice president of series programming, working on the development and production of such shows as The Simpsons, Married…With Children and 21 Jump Street. McCarthy 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.
Brett Weitz, who has most recently served as vice president of development for TNT, will continue to oversee scripted development for the network while also adding responsibility for TBS. Weitz joined TNT in 2009, serving as vice president of development.
“Brett is a truly talented executive whose programming taste and relationships within the creaitve community have been instrumental in TNT’s scripted success over the past few years,” said Wright. “He was a key contributor to the development of returning TNT hits Franklin & Bash and Rizzoli & Isles, and he helped shape the new series Perception and Monday Mornings, as well as our new reality-competition series The Great Escape and 72 Hours. It’s little wonder he was included this year on Multichannel News‘ ’40 Under 40′ list of up-and-coming television executives.”
Weitz came to TNT from 20th Century Fox Television, where he served as vice president of creative affairs for the fox21 Studios division, working on such series as the reality hit Beauty and the Geek, the comedy Free Ride and the TNT drama Saved. Prior to fox21, Weitz was director of drama development for 20th Century Fox Television from 2002 to 2004. He joined that company after a brief tenure as director of drama development for Columbia TriStar Television. And from 1999 to 2001, Weitz worked at Artists Television Group as part of the initial team that started up the company under Michael Ovitz. He first served as director of creative affairs, then later as television literary manager, representing television writers and directors.
Kathy Busby has been serving as vice president of comedy development for TBS, reporting to McCarthy. “With Kathy Busby joining Lillah at TNT and TBS Original Productions, we have a truly dynamic executive team leading our in-house production unit,” said Wright.
Busby joined TBS in April 2010 after serving as supervising producer for the pilot of The Aisha Tyler Show. Prior to that, she was senior vice president of production at New Line Cinema, which included serving as executive producer on the Sex and the City movie and senior executive on Rush Hour 3. Earlier, Busby was senior vice president/head of development at Carsey-Werner, where she oversaw the development of Grounded for Life and was part of the team that produced 3rd Rock from the Sun and That ‘70s Show. Busby began her television career as director of comedy development at Universal Television, following several years in the record industry working for such companies as La Face Records, Paisley Park Records and MCA Records London.
As a filmmaker, Busby directed and produced the short Max and Josh, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, and My Purple Fur Coat, which was named Best Children’s Short at the Houston Black Film Festival. Busby’s original screenplay Her Gal Friday, co-written with Neena Beber, was optioned by and is in development at ABC Family.
Rounding out the original programming executive team are Sam Linsky, who continues to serve as senior vice president of current programs, which also includes overseeing original content for the networks’ digital extensions, and David Hudson, who serves as senior vice president of late night & specials.
TNT, one of cable’s top-rated networks, is television’s destination for drama. Seen in 99 million households, TNT is home to such original drama series as The Closer, Rizzoli & Isles, Falling Skies, Dallas, Perception, Franklin & Bash, Leverage, Southland and the upcoming series Major Crimes and Monday Mornings. The network also features dramatic unscripted originals like this summer’s The Great Escape and the upcoming Boston Blue (working title) and 72 Hours (working title). In addition, TNT is the cable home to popular dramas like The Mentalist, Bones, Supernatural, Las Vegas, Law & Order and Castle, which starts this year; primetime specials, such as the Screen Actors Guild Awards®; blockbuster movies; and championship sports coverage, including NASCAR, the NBA and the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship.
TBS is basic cable’s #1 network among young adults in primetime. Available in 100 million households, TBS features the Emmy®-nominated late-night series CONAN, starring Conan O’Brien, and original primetime comedy series like Men at Work, Sullivan & Son, Cougar Town, Tyler Perry’s For Better or Worse, Wedding Band, King of the Nerds (working title), Deon Cole’s Black Box (working title) and Who Gets the Last Laugh? (working title). TBS also features an outstanding slate of contemporary comedies, such as The Big Bang Theory and Family Guy, as well as blockbuster movies and championship sports. In addition, TBS produces special live comedy events, like the star-studded comedy festival held each year in Chicago.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news, entertainment, animation and young adult media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.
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