Emile Levisetti has opted to stay with Industry Entertainment, signing a multiyear deal that keeps him firmly in charge of the management firm’s TV division.
Levisetti reups at a moment of transition at Industry, which landed the UPN drama “Haunted” on the fall skeds.
Industry recently wound up its first-look deal at 20th Century Fox TV. Production company is scouting out a new home, although Industry co-founder Keith Addis said the unit would self-finance if it can’t find the right partner.
“We’re going to forge ahead and staff up this department whether we make one of these deals or not,” Addis said. “If we don’t get the right terms, it won’t stop us at all.”
Addis pointed out that Industry’s three pilots last spring were set up at three separate studios: NBC’s “War Stories,” which was co-produced with NBC Studios; ABC’s “Astronauts,” co-produced with 20th Century Fox; and “Haunted,” which is co-produced with Viacom Prods. and CBS Prods.
“Not that much of what we did ended up at 20th anyway,” Addis said. “It was a slightly meaningful contribution of overhead and it was a place where one ideally has relationships that make getting things done more easily. But we believe we have those kinds of relationships all over town.”
If Industry opts to go it alone, the company would join an increasing number of production boutiques (including the Greenblatt-Janollari Studio) that have found a way to produce without lining up an overall deal.
As for Levisetti, Addis called the exec “one of the best discoveries this company has made.”
“It was never in doubt, even without a studio deal, that we would make every effort to extend Emile’s contract,” Addis said. “He is loved and admired and respected here. He did a Herculean job last season.”
Since Levisetti joined Industry to launch the TV unit in 2000, the management firm has taken a more active role in series production. Last season the firm helped produce the 20th/Regency/CBS Prods. drama “The Education of Max Bickford,” which starred Industry client Richard Dreyfuss, and landed three pilots on the network slates.
Industry also has production credits on CBS’ “Becker,” starring Ted Danson.
“It’s really nice to have a company that’s clearly wanting me to stick around and really committed to staying in the business,” Levisetti said. “The partners, Keith and Nick (Wechsler), have been tremendously supportive here.”
Levisetti said his top priority will be keeping “Haunted” on the air; beyond that, his team (which includes Michael Edelstein) hopes to focus on developing more comedy projects.
“I would love to try to get one or two more series on the air next year,” he said.
Levisetti joined Industry from 20th Century Fox TV, where he was vice president of comedy development. During his four years at the studio, he helped develop laffers such as “Dharma & Greg,” “Two Guys and a Girl” and “Titus.”
Levisetti also worked at Columbia Pictures Television in its comedy development department.