VP of programming departs studio
Gwynne Thomas has ankled her post as executive VP of programming and development for Buena Vista Prods.In a statement expressing “regret,” Brian Frons, president of daytime for the ABC TV Group, praised Thomas’ work. In less than three years on the job, Thomas sold a reality series, “The Fashionista Diaries,” to BV’s Soap Net sibling and sold the gameshow “Camouflage” to Sony/Liberty Media’s GSN. Thomas also got a greenlight from NBC Universal’s Sci Fi Channel for a reality-series pilot called “Run for Money.” And Time Warner’s Court TV ran a Thomas-developed pilot called “Inside: Video Wars.” Both “Run for Money” and “Video Wars” are under consideration for series pickups, according to a BV spokeswoman. But Frons also hedged his bet on Thomas, signing a first-look deal earlier this month with Silverback Prods., the Scandinavian company that produces successful reality shows, including the original model for the “Survivor” franchise. Thomas did not come up with any hit shows in firstrun syndication for the ABC-owned TV stations during her tenure at BV, a sister company of ABC. Weak development caused two ABC flagship stations, WABC -TV New York and WPVI-TV Philadelphia, to go outside BV two years ago and buy CBS TV Distribution’s “The Rachael Ray Show” to follow “Live With Regis & Kelly.” The Ray show became a success. Frons said in the statement that, on her own, Thomas will continue to develop non-scripted programming for cable TV and firstrun syndication. BV will begin the process of finding a replacement for Thomas, who’ll stay on until the end of the month. Before BV, Thomas was the No. 2 executive on CBS TV Distribution’s “Dr. Phil” for almost three years.