Litvack drawn to WB

Longtime TV veteran John Litvack has ankled Walt Disney TV after eight years at the studio and has joined the WB netlet as senior vice president of current programming.

Litvack has served as senior vice president of network TV at Walt Disney TV since 1995, working on development and production of series such as “Home Improvement,” “Boy Meets World” and “Smart Guy.” He was also in charge of developing hours for firstrun syndication and international shows for Buena Vista Intl. Ltd.

In his new position, he’ll report to Susanne Daniels, executive vice president of programming at the WB, and he’ll handle the current programming department.

“We’ve been trying to steal John for a year,” Daniels said. “We credit him with the success of ‘Smart Guy’ on our network.”

Litvack won’t be replaced outright at Disney. Peter Aronson, senior VP of creative affairs, and David Himelfarb, who was recently named senior VP of network programming at Walt Disney TV, have taken over most of the duties of Litvack and departed senior VP David Kissinger (Daily Variety, June 19).

Litvack first began working at Disney in 1989 as senior VP of the Magical World of Disney. Within a year he was named senior VP of current programming by then-president of network TV production Garth Ancier, who’s now entertainment president at the WB.

Ancier and Litvack also worked together at NBC, where Litvack was vice president of current drama programs for NBC Entertainment and vice president of drama development at NBC Prods. from 1980-86.

After NBC, Litvack worked at MTM, developing hourlong dramas and serving as co-executive producer of “Hill Street Blues,” and he has remained on the supply side of the biz ever since. But Litvack said he’s thrilled to get back to a network — even if it is still a netlet.

“When I first came to NBC, we were considered a netlet because we were so far a distant third we were a joke,” he said. “It’s great to be somewhere where there’s nowhere to go but up.”

Litvack began his career directing the CBS daytime soaps “Guiding Light” and “As the World Turns” for seven years, before moving to the executive ranks as director of daytime programs at CBS in New York. He was also a director of current programs at MGM.

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