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WB prexy on talent watch

Janollari looking for the next great thing

Midway through his first pilot season as the WB’s entertainment president, David Janollari said he remains on the lookout for fresh, untapped voices.

Speaking to a crowd at the Museum of TV and Radio, in the org’s final industry forum luncheon of the season, Janollari said he’s encouraged by the fact that all six broadcast net entertainment toppers rose through the development ranks. That bodes well for the nets as they try to find new writing talent, he said.

“(Everyone possesses) the skill sets to identify the next wave of comedy talent — I hope, or I won’t be here next year,” he quipped.

With cable networks now competing with broadcasters in the original series arena, Janollari said the pressure’s even greater to offer the audience something different.

“What’s the next big hit that will galvanize the audience and make them run to the TV set?” he asked. “It’s not an easy challenge.”

According to Janollari, the quality of primetime series has to continue to improve.

“The cable networks have kept us on our toes,” he said. “Shows have got to be better than just OK. We have to stick with quality, or we’ll succumb to a more mediocre landscape.”

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