Mancuso to head venture

Peter Engel Prods., the source of NBC’s Saturday morning teen comedy slate, is branching out into the talent management arena with the formation of Beyond Talent Management.

This new wing will be run as part of Engel’s wide-ranging business partnership with NBC Enterprises.

Tammi Chase, formerly a manager with Somers Teitelbaum David, has been recruited to spearhead day-to-day operations, while Engel Prods. prexy Linda Mancuso will oversee the new venture. Among the first clients to sign on with Beyond Talent is thesp Kimberly Williams (“Father of the Bride”).

Engel Prods. is known for its teen confections like NBC’s “Saved by the Bell” and USA Network’s “USA High,” but Beyond Talent won’t be limited to repping the adolescent set.

Name means business

“That’s why we’re calling it Beyond Talent Management,” Mancuso said. “With this company, we will go beyond the areas of business that we’re already known for.” Chase’s experience in the feature film arena will complement Engel Prods.’ strength in TV, she added.

For Peter Engel, the expansion into talent management was a no-brainer after watching “Bell” alumni like Scott Wolf (“Party of Five”) and Tiffani-Amber Thiessen (“Beverly Hills, 90210″) graduate to higher-profile gigs in TV and features.

“With six shows on the air, we see so many up-and-coming people, and it seems like management is the wave of the future,” Engel said.

However, Engel and Mancuso stressed that Beyond Talent would not poach clients from the thesps already on the production company’s payroll. In addition to “Bell” and “USA High,” Engel Prods.’ active slate comprises NBC’s “Hang Time,” “One World,” “City Guys” and the syndie “Malibu, CA.”

No conflicts

“We will not approach any talent who work for us that already have managers,” Engel vowed. “I don’t want to put anyone in the position of thinking, ‘Oh gee, I’d better go with them or I won’t have a job.’”

“As managers, our first mandate will be do to what is in the best interests of our clients. Sometimes that will mean that they won’t end up on our shows … but management is still such a logical piece to have in the big picture of our business,” Mancuso added.

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