Warner Bros. TV has handed responsibility for drama development to Steve Pearlman, the studio’s chief of current programs, who will now oversee both departments.
Pearlman, who has served as senior vice president of current programs since 1993, has now been upped to senior VP of drama development and current programs. The move was expected (Daily Variety, July 23).
Pearlman is taking over the duties formerly handled by Nina Tassler, who has joined CBS Prods. as a senior vice president. In his new position, Pearlman will oversee all drama development and current programming, and he’ll continue to supervise the studio’s research department. He reports to Tony Jonas, president of Warner Bros. TV.
Sources say Trent Jones, now director of current programming, also is likely to be promoted to head of current programming, reporting to Pearlman.
Pearlman first joined what was then Lorimar-Telepictures in 1986 as a research analyst for network TV and feature films, where he helped develop the now common practice of tracking awareness levels of primetime series.
He was upped to manager and then director in 1987, assuming responsibility for all research. In 1990, he was upped to vice president of network research, and in 1992, he became vice president of current programs.
Warner Bros. credits Pearlman with helping the studio return 11 of its series to the airwaves this fall, the most of any studio.