Kiefer cops drama queen

Murphy new prexy of shingle

Kiefer Sutherland has tapped former UPN drama chief Maggie Murphy to serve as prexy of his new 20th Century Fox TV-based production company.

Appointment comes about two months after the “24” thesp inked a long-term deal with 20th (Daily Variety, April 10) that called for the establishment of a production shingle. Murphy recently wrapped up her duties at UPN, which turns off the lights at the end of August.

Sutherland said he and Murphy “have a strong connection in what we both believe is valuable from a literary perspective.”

Murphy also shares acting roots with Sutherland. She began her career as a thesp, appearing in more than two dozen episodes of skeins such as “Designing Women” and “The Practice.”

In April, Sutherland indicated he might initially focus on dramas. Murphy, however, said the new shingle will be open to all pitches.

“We are looking for comedies and dramas,” she said. “We are not genre-specific. We are interested in the quality of our projects and developing and protecting the vision of the writer.”

During her three years at UPN, Murphy helped develop the critical success “Veronica Mars,” as well as upcoming skeins “Runaway” and “Hidden Palms,” which will air on the CW.

Before joining UPN in 2003, exec spent five years at Regency Television, where she helped develop “Roswell,” “Wonderfalls” and “John Doe.” She’s also had gigs as a development exec at both 20th Century Fox TV and 20th-based David E. Kelley Prods.

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