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Making leap to TV

USA Net taps film producer Albert as veep

USA Network has hired feature film producer exec Cari-Esta Albert as development veep of original series.

Albert’s is a newly created position. She will be based in Los Angeles, overseeing comedy and drama series development for the cable network.

She reports to David Eick, senior VP of original series development.

Move reflects a considerable career shift for Albert, whose film credits include, as producer, “The Truth About Cats and Dogs” and as exec producer, “Heart and Souls,” which starred Robert Downey Jr. and Elisabeth Shue.

Albert also has served as exec VP and producer at Alphaville. At Geffen Pictures, she was a VP and the exec on such pics as “Last Boy Scout,” starring Bruce Willis. She was also director of production at Universal Pictures.

Until joining USA, she has only done one TV project, telepic “Love Is Strange,” which she exec produced for Lifetime.

Albert said she’s looking forward to taking on some new challenges.

“I wanted to learn the medium; I’ve been absorbed by TV in the past couple of years,” she said. “Watching it, I wanted to be part of creating it.”

Albert hopes to continue collaborating with feature film professionals.

“I’m obviously learning TV people too, but one of the first things we’re doing is using my feature relationships with writers, producers and directors to bring them into the USA family. I wouldn’t be at USA if didn’t think it was worthwhile for all those people to work here,” she said.

And now is a better time than ever for film professionals to move into TV and other media, she added.

“TV (people are) much more receptive to feature people working with them in television right now. I think we’re all excited because great work is being done in TV, and it happens faster; there’s more film going through the camera on a weekly basis,” she said

In announcing the appointment, Eick said Albert’s experience in features will be invaluable.

“Her proven creative skills have produced unique projects of taste and substance, and we are fortunate to have her join our development team,” Eick said.

While taking on the new job, Albert plans to also continue working as a film producer.

Among her current projects are the features “The Greatest Game,” with writer Pierce Gardner; “People’s Choice,” based on the novel by CNN’s Jeff Greenfield; “Poison” with producer Betsy Stahl and director Mikael Salomon; “Jonestown,” by writers Laurie Winer and Tom Lutz with producers Nina Sadowsky and Jonathan Penner; and “Suicide Bride” with writer Susan Avallone.

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