Cabler ups exec and focuses programming
IFC is centralizing its programming department, expanding the role of VP Debbie DeMontreux to head of original production.
In addition, cabler has greenlit a second season of “Greg the Bunny” for six episodes and a third season of “The Henry Rollins Show” for 20. Fresh “Greg” will bow in November, and “Henry” will return in March.
IFC has also set its 2007 slate of documentaries. They will include Eric Steel’s “The Bridge,” which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, and the three-part mini “Indie Sex.”
Restructuring puts DeMontreux in charge of original docs and features, adding to her current duties running original series and events for the Rainbow Media cable network, available in 39 million homes.
Alison Bourke, the VP who had previously overseen the channel’s fiction and nonfiction feature-length projects, has ankled the company. IFC exec veep-general manager Evan Shapiro said Bourke is pursuing her own business and will consult on certain upcoming IFC programs.
DeMontreux, a 13-year employee of Rainbow Media, said she has several series projects in the works that continue to “tell the Hollywood story in a comedic fashion.”
Net’s distinct tone — a wry look at struggling Hollywood — was established by DeMontreux’s team via skeins like “Greg” and recently launched rookies “The Minor Accomplishments of Jackie Woodman” and “The Business,” a pair of low-budget laffers devoted to revealing the darker side of the biz.
“In the past year, we’ve found our voice when it comes to Hollywood stories. We’ve also honed in on a format — scripted, live-action comedy — that has really worked for us,” DeMontreux said. “That said, the canvas is wide open in terms of subject matter for future projects.”
Shapiro, to whom DeMontreux will continue to report, added that the critical success of “Minor Accomplishments” has expanded the kinds of series IFC can pursue.
“The series is tangentially about show business. It’s really about humans being humans in Los Angeles. It’s broadened our programming horizons in a great way,” Shapiro said.
DeMontreux will continue to work alongside scheduling and acquisitions VP George Lentz, responsible for engineering key acquisitions, including that of anime series “Samurai 7.”
On next year’s doc slate are Steel’s “The Bridge,” about the suicides on San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge; “Indie Sex,” an exploration of sex censorship, teen sex and controversial sex in cinema, from filmmakers Lisa Ades and Lesli Klainberg; and “Does Your Soul Have a Cold?,” about the recent impact of exporting American definitions of depression and the use of antidepressants to Japan.
IFC devoted a reported $55 million to programming this year.
Prior to IFC, DeMontreux served as a director of development and production for IFC and Bravo (both then owned by Rainbow).