Film Roman turns to Hyde as new topper

Toon house has 'Simpsons,' 'Mission Hill' series

The Romans have finally appointed a new emperor: John Hyde has been tapped as prexy-CEO of toon house Film Roman.

Hyde joins the company after serving as chairman and CEO of MCEG Sterling, where he engineered a four-way merger among MCEG Sterling, Orion Pictures, Actava Group Inc. and telecommunications group Metromedia Intl.

As an exec and/or producer, he has overseen distribution and production of features ranging from “Das Boot” to “Short Circuit” to “9-1/2 Weeks.” On the small screen, Hyde’s recent developments include “Homicide” and “Mighty Mouse.”

He now inherits a company on the verge of mass production expansion. Film Roman currently has animated series “The Oblongs” and “Mission Hill” set for the WB, and “Doomsday” for UPN, along with ongoing productions of “King of the Hill” and “The Simpsons” for Fox.

On the film front, the company has a variety of projects in development, including “My First Mister,” to be helmed by Christine Lahti and starring Albert Brooks and Leelee Sobieski.

“I’m thrilled to be joining Film Roman at a time when it is poised for significant growth,” said Hyde. “Having begun my career as a producer of television and feature films, I feel this position brings my career to a full circle.”

The position had been kept vacant by the company after David B. Pritchard was abruptly let go by the company’s board of directors in October.

Company founder Phil Roman left last year after allegedly clashing with Pritchard over the direction of Film Roman.

Phil Roman still maintains a stake in the business but has now formed his own production company in order to return to a more “hands-on, bare-bones approach” to the animation biz.

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