Cox fills vacancy left by Semel

Keith Cox has joined Nick at Nite/TV Land as exec VP of original programming.

As expected (Daily Variety, May 2), Cox will migrate from the WB, where he was head of comedy and alternative, in mid-May. Based in New York, exec will report directly to Nick at Nite/TV Land prexy Larry Jones.

Cox fills the vacancy left by previous programming head Mitch Semel, who ankled last fall. Development senior VP Sal Maniaci now will report to Cox.

Cox will continue Nick at Nite’s mission to mine family-friendly fare for the nighttime cabler, which just ordered its first sitcom pilot, “Diane Westgor.” Meanwhile, he’ll work to target baby boomers on TV Land, which on Tuesday announced a couple of celeb-heavy reality shows — “I Pity the Fool” and “Back to the Grind” — and last winter got into the scripted series game (Daily Variety, Dec. 19).

Cox’s hiring puts him back in business with Comedy Central/Spike/TV Land topper Doug Herzog, who ran entertainment at Fox while Cox worked in development at Greenblatt Janollari.

“Our hope for Keith is that he takes TV Land and Nick at Nite to another level of access to ideas and pitches,” Jones said.

Cox said his tenure at the Frog has left him well prepared for cable.

“When I was buying for the WB, when it was at its best, it really felt like a cable channel,” Cox said. “Working in cable was pretty appealing to me.”

At the WB, Cox oversaw all half-hour and reality development.He also has had programming stints at Warner Bros. TV and FX.

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