Prexy Herzog taps NBC vet in exex shuffle

NBC veteran David Nevins has been tapped as exec VP of programming for Fox Broadcasting Co., where he will oversee current programming and development as the No. 2 to Fox entertainment prexy Doug Herzog.

Nevins replaces Rob Dwek, whose departure from the web had been expected (Daily Variety, April 23) as part of the changing of the guard sparked by Herzog’s arrival in January.

Herzog, a self-described network TV neophyte who headed Comedy Central before joining Fox, said Nevins’ primetime programming experience would complement his own strengths.

“We share a certain sensibility and an outlook as to where Fox can go,” Herzog said. “Hopefully, together we’ll bring out fresh ideas and out-of-the-box thinking, and find new ways to approach TV, particularly comedy, where it’s sorely needed.”

Nevins will oversee comedy and drama series, as well as telefilms and miniseries. Fox exec veep Mike Darnell remains the czar of reality and alternative programming, reporting to Herzog.

Nevins comes to Fox after spending the past seven years with the Peacock, most recently as senior veepee of primetime series. During his tenure at NBC, Nevins shepherded a wide range of comedies and dramas, from “ER” and “Homicide: Life on the Street” to “Will & Grace” and “Suddenly Susan.”

Nevins’ responsibilities also included supervising the evolution of NBC mainstays including “Law & Order” and “Frasier.” He first joined NBC as director of drama development in 1992.

Of the move to Fox, Nevins said he’s anxious to “throw out the network TV handbook” and try new approaches to the primetime development process.

“Fox has a grand tradition of breakthrough programming,” Nevins said. “You can do shows on Fox that you can’t do anywhere else. There’s a certain liberation, and that makes it a pretty attractive place to be a programmer.”

With Nevins in place, Herzog will turn his attention to filling the top comedy programming post left vacant since former senior VP Cheryl Bayer ankled in February.

Herzog also expressed his gratitude to the exiting Dwek for “helping me through a shaky couple of months while I got my sea legs.” Both Dwek and Herzog described the parting as a mutual decision.

Dwek, who was recruited by Herzog’s predecessor, Peter Roth (now prexy of Warner Bros. TV), joined Fox as exec VP in late 1997 after a five-month stint at ABC that was also cut short by exec shuffling.

“There will be no networks in the near future for me,” Dwek said. “I’m going to take a trip around the world and I’ll probably figure out what I’m going to do next on a mountain in Nepal.”

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