Fox’s drama queen

Programming vet Nicholson Salke joins 20th

HOLLYWOOD — Programming vet Jennifer Nicholson Salke has joined 20th Century Fox Television as the studio’s drama chief.

Nicholson Salke immediately moves to the production company as senior vice president of drama. She replaces Scott Vila, who segued to a development deal at 20th last month.

Nicholson Salke was most recently senior vice president of drama at Columbia TriStar Television, until that studio altered its operations last fall. She’ll report to 20th Century Fox TV co-presidents Gary Newman and Dana Walden, who made the announcement Tuesday.

“Jennifer has demonstrated over and over again he ability to help writers navigate the waters of the development process and get them to the finish line,” Walden said. “She’s a fantastic creative executive and has the skills, experience and temperament to run a drama department that prides itself on remaining an open supplier to all the networks.”

As 20th’s new drama queen, Nicholson Salke will oversee production on skeins such as “24,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “The Practice,” “Boston Public,” “Judging Amy” and “Angel.” She’ll also handle new entries “Septuplets,” “Firefly” and “Girls Club.”

Develop projects

Also, Nicholson Salke will develop projects with 20th’s roster of drama writers such as Joss Whedon, David E. Kelley, Chris Carter, Jason Katims, Barbara Hall and Jeff Rake.

Before Columbia TriStar downsized operations, Nicholson Salke developed projects such as the WB’s “Everwood” and CBS’ “Hack.” Prior to that, Nicholson Salke held a long stint at Spelling Entertainment, working her way up to senior veepee of series development.

At Spelling, the exec helped develop projects such as “Charmed” and “7th Heaven.” She joined the shingle in 1992.

“What has been impressive is the overwhelming number of people –writers, producers and network executives — who went out of their way to give effusive praise for Jennifer’s instincts, intellect and vision,” Newman said. “We consider it a great opportunity to bring someone of her ability into our company.”

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