Veteran broadcast exec Lance Taylor is in line to take over as head of current programming for Fox Broadcasting Co. as new web topper Gail Berman continues firming up her management team.
While a deal is still being finalized, Taylor will be upped from VP of comedy programming to senior vice president of current programs within the next few weeks, Fox insiders confirmed. In addition, Craig Erwich is expected to be upped to senior VP of drama development at Fox (Daily Variety, July 5) while web vet Peter Johnson has been tapped VP of drama development.
In his new post, Taylor will be responsible for day-to-day oversight of all comedy and drama programming, “Cops,” “America’s Most Wanted” and current and future animated programming. He’ll report directly to Berman.
Before joining Fox in 1997, he had been VP of current programming at Walt Disney/Touchstone Television, working on shows such as “Home Improvement,” “Boy Meets World” and “Dinosaurs.” At Disney, he worked with Berman on the studio’s laffer “Gaby.”
Taylor started out in the biz in 1970 as an ABC page, eventually moving up to program exec on Alphabet hits such as “Happy Days,” “Laverne & Shirley” and “Mork & Mindy.” He was upped to director of current comedy programs at ABC in 1978; he moved over to comedy development in 1982.
In 1984, Taylor joined Columbia Pictures Television as head VP of current programs, assuming the title of VP for creative affairs in 1986. At the studio, he worked on skeins such as “TJ Hooker,” “Designing Women” and “Mike Hammer.” Taylor jumped to Shelly Duvall’s Think Entertainment in 1988, spending nearly four years as the company’s VP of creative affairs.
As for Johnson, exec has been at Fox since 1991, starting out as a research analyst for the web. He was upped to manager of research and marketing in 1993 and director of the department in 1995. He moved over to development in 1997, assuming the title of director of drama development in 1998.
Johnson had an active role in the development of Fox’s fall 2000 drama slate, including the Darren Star drama “The Street” and David E. Kelley’s highly anticipated hour “Boston Public.”
A Fox spokesman declined to comment.
In other Fox news, the web has renewed the animated laffer “Family Guy,” ordering 13 segs of the comedy to be broadcast in summer 2001.