Exec upped to oversee alternative development
After just two months on the job, FX entertainment topper John Landgraf has made his first promotion, appointing entertainment exec Eric Schrier to lead the cabler’s efforts in the unscripted biz.
FX has upped Schrier to VP of current series and alternative programming. In the newly created position, Schrier will oversee the development of all the channel’s reality/alternative projects. He will report to Landgraf.
Previously, Schrier was director of current series, responsible for net mainstays “The Shield” and “Nip/Tuck,” which he will continue to supervise along with the upcoming skeins “Rescue Me” and “NASCAR Drivers: 360.”
Landgraf said that with Schrier in place, FX plans to have a couple of reality shows on air as early as this year.
“Eric has been instrumental in the success of our ‘The Shield’ and ‘Nip/Tuck,’ ” Landgraf said. “It you think of the qualities of those shows — they’re both entertaining and intellectually challenging — that’s where we want to take our reality series. And given his track record with our scripted dramas, Eric’s the guy to do it.”
FX has made few inroads in the unscripted realm. None of the programs from channel’s reality block the Friday Night Fix gelled with audiences, and the Endemol-produced series “Todd TV” won’t be back for a second season. Schrier’s promotion reps a renewed bid from the cabler to stake a bigger claim in the reality arena.
Landgraf said he will continue to streamline the web’s team of development execs — each will now be focused on a specific drama — with additional announcements expected in the coming weeks.
Schrier, meanwhile, will be charged with unearthing that breakout reality show for the network.
“Some of what we’ve tried in the past has been on brand but didn’t have that hook that grabs viewers,” Schrier said. “We’re trying to find that unique piece of business that we can market and that falls in line with what we do on the scripted side.”
“Eric has been a tremendous asset to and advocate for ‘The Shield.’ He’s a young guy who gives a damn about making the final product better and actually helps you achieve it,” said Shawn Ryan, creator-exec producer of “The Shield.”
Schrier joined FX in 2000 as an assistant to former FX entertainment topper Kevin Reilly. He was quickly promoted to manager of current series in 2001 and director in 2002, supervising the Emmy-nominated series “Lucky” and the Howard Stern comedy “Son of the Beach.” Before FX, he was an assistant at CAA and later Brillstein-Grey Entertainment.