David Janollari (“Six Feet Under”) is returning to his roots as a producer, setting up a solo shingle and inking a two-year overall deal with Warner Bros. Television.
The former WB Entertainment prexy — whose pairing with Bob Greenblatt produced a diverse slate that included everything from “Six Feet Under” to “The Hughleys” — will develop and exec produce drama, comedy and reality programming for the studio and its various units.
Janollari will hire a head of development and open the doors to his new company by mid-June.
He won’t have to ask directions to the Warners commissary, however.
“This is my fourth time working with this company,” he said. Past stints include working for Lorimar/WBTV under Leslie Moonves; producing the laffer “Eve” with Greenblatt under the Warners aegis; and running the WB.
Latter two gigs helped Janollari form a relationship with WBTV prexy Peter Roth, which helped make inking a deal easier.
“I feel like we’ve been very successful in a collaborative way many times over,” Janollari told Daily Variety. “It’s a place where I feel comfortable with all the people. It’s coming back home.”
Roth said he was glad to have Janollari back on the lot.
“David has amazing creative instincts and a very impressive track record both as a producer, as well as an executive,” he said.
Janollari has been laying low for the past 17 months. That’s how long it’s been since he found out the Frog was being killed — and he was out of a job.
The upside for him was a sweet exit package that allowed him to travel the world on Time Warner’s dime. Rather than jump into another gig, Janollari said he decided to “pretend I was retired,” making stops in Asia, Fiji and South Africa.
Now that he’s back in the game, Janollari is looking to develop all kinds of programming. Like many producers in his situation, he’s well aware of the networks’ needs for new laffers.
“I would like to find that next big comedy hit,” he said.
He already has one potential buyer lined up, ex-business partner (and current Showtime topper) Greenblatt, who said he’s glad Janollari is back producing “after a year of gallivanting around the world.”
“Seriously, there is a dearth of truly creative producers in television,” Greenblatt said. “I hope Showtime will be his first stop.”
In addition to “Six Feet Under,” Janollari and Greenblatt’s producer credits included the CBS miniseries “Elvis,” PBS drama “American Family” and laffers such as “One on One” and “Eve.”