Unit initially expected to focus on laffers
Joe Roth has tapped Nina Lederman to run his new Paramount-based TV shingle.
Lederman will be prexy and report to Roth. She’ll be in charge of packaging and day-to-day production of series projects for Roth’s self-titled shingle, which is expected to focus on comedy development initially (Daily Variety, Nov. 19).
Until recently, Lederman was president of Flame TV, the small-screen shingle run by former Imagine TV partner Tony Krantz. During her tenure she developed, with Paramount, the UPN midseason drama “South Beach” and the net’s Jenny McCarthy laffer, “Bad Girl’s Guide.”
In previous gigs, Lederman had a hand in developing skeins including “Will & Grace” and Darren Star’s “Grosse Pointe.”
Viacom co-prexy/co-COO Leslie Moonves and Par Network TV prexy David Stapf signed Roth to a three-year deal last year — a pact completely separate from his Revolution Studios — in part because of what Moonves at the time called Roth’s rep as “an unbelievable talent magnet.” Lederman said she hopes to tap into Roth’s talent relationships and combine that with her knowledge of the TV biz.
“CAA hooked us up, and in our first meeting, there was an instant simpatico feeling,” Lederman said, adding that she and Roth share a desire to look for new hit comedies.
“The key to comedy is the passion of the writer for the idea,” she said, adding that casting was also key.
Stapf, who worked with Roth to find someone to run Roth’s TV business, called Lederman a “respected exec with tremendous experience. She’s been doing this a long time, and I think she matches up with Joe very well.
“Joe Roth has the ability to pick up the phone and call anyone, and attract people to TV who normally wouldn’t consider it,” Stapf added. “You couple that with Nina’s years of relationships in the TV business (with writers) and I think they’re positioning themselves for success.”
Lederman said she and Roth plan more of a boutique approach to development.
“I want to be very focused, with specific ideas and specific writers,” she said. “We want to design the packages that come together and not be all over the place.”
Lederman’s deal has come together quickly in the past few days. She’s expected to start just after July 1, with offices on the Par lot as well as at Revolution.
On the film side, Revolution and Sony have been negotiating a new deal for several months now.
Before teaming with Krantz, Lederman spent two years working for Eric Tannenbaum as senior VP of creative affairs at Michael Ovitz’s short-lived Artists Television Group. That run produced “Grosse Pointe” as well as Ellen DeGeneres’ CBS laffer, which was exec produced by “Arrested Development” creator Mitch Hurwitz.
Lederman previously spent five years as VP of production for NBC Studios. Her resume also includes working with awards and events producer Don Mischer for seven years.