Company looking to get more involved in TV

Mandeville Films, the production shingle behind USA Network’s hit “Monk,” has tapped Paul Shapiro to head up TV development and production.

Shapiro’s hiring comes as Mandeville looks to ramp up its involvement in TV. The label, run by partners David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman, has several projects in the works at ABC Studios, where it’s set up under an overall deal.

Those new projects would join Mandeville’s two series already in production. Besides “Monk,” Mandeville is behind upcoming Spike TV series “The Kill Point,” starring John Leguizamo and Donnie Wahlberg. Mandeville hopes both shows, which run this summer, will help further launch the company’s TV biz.

“The whole idea this year is let’s try to step up our TV business,” Hoberman said. “The goal is to concentrate on the broadcast networks. Not to exclude basic cable — because we’ve had great experiences on both shows. But we’d like to get a network show on the air.”

That’s where Shapiro comes in, Hoberman and Lieberman said. The exec most recently served as exec VP at Phase Two Prods., the 20th Century Fox TV-based unit run by Sandy Grushow. Before that, he was senior vice president at Big Ticket TV, where he developed shows including “Hack,” “The Parkers” and “The Jamie Kennedy Experiment.”

“We met with a whole bunch of potential executives, but Paul seemed to have the level of experience we needed,” Hoberman said. “Todd and I felt he had a really good, aggressive reputation. He’s someone who would be out there and really we could be certain that no stone was left uncovered.”

With Shapiro aboard, the company will be able to better service its deal with ABC Studios, Lieberman said.

“He’s already bringing in all kinds of projects,” he said.

Mandeville plans to develop between six and eight scripts this year, focusing on drama (although the duo said they wouldn’t shun comedy).

To come up with some of those projects, Mandeville is in business with scribes J.P. Donahue and Kevin Polay (“Under Pressure”), Channing Gibson (“Lethal Weapon 4″) and Jason Richman (“Bangkok Dangerous”).

Mandeville is developing project “The Wrecking Crew,” from scribes Toni Kotite and Marty Scott, at Lifetime. Ken Biller is also aboard as exec producer.

“These are all really good writers whom we’ve worked with in the past on the movie side,” Hoberman said.

Mandeville Films’ credits include “Bringing Down the House,” “Raising Helen,” “Beauty Shop” and “George of the Jungle.” The production company, which has a distribution deal with Disney, is producing Paul Walker starrer “The Heaven Project” and working on the feature “South of the Border.”

Shapiro’s resume includes stints at 3 Arts, Columbia Pictures TV and Irv Schechter Co.

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