“Hell’s Kitchen” producer A. Smith & Co. is cooking up a division geared toward cable development, and has tapped former Fox Sports Net exec Frank Sinton to serve as top chef.
Dubbed A. Smith & Co. Properties, the unit is already at work on a newly commissioned investigative series for Discovery Channel and the second season of BET’s “American Gangster.” Sinton will act as chief operating officer and head of development for the division, which will maintain separate offices.
Sinton reports to A. Smith CEO Arthur Smith and prexy Kent Weed.
“We did this because we wanted to establish our company as more of a volume business, and we thought it would be good to set up a division that can crank stuff out,” Smith told Daily Variety.
While the company has worked in cable before, its focus has shifted in recent years to network projects, from “Hell’s Kitchen” and upcoming spinoff “Kitchen Nightmares” to “The Swan,” “Paradise Hotel” and “Skating With Celebrities.”
“We can’t be there every day on the cable projects, but Frank can,” Smith said, adding that he and Weed will nonetheless maintain a strong hand in the new unit’s projects. “He’s a guy I trust, who’s a great producer and a great exec.”
Details of the Discovery Channel project are being kept under wraps. Smith said the company is in talks on several other projects as well.
Sinton and Smith’s relationship dates back to their days at Fox Sports Net, where Smith was head of programming and Sinton was the first exec he hired.
Smith eventually left to form his reality shingle, while Sinton became an independent producer, working on “Gangster,” the FSN skein “Beyond the Glory” and OLN’s “Fearless.”
Sinton’s resume also includes a 1987-96 stint at Disney Channel, where he served as VP of programming and oversaw projects such as “Martin & Lewis: Their Golden Age of Comedy.”