New exec VP to develop scripted programming

Producer Mike Tollin has tapped Ben Spector to oversee TV at his new shingle.

As exec VP of TV at Tollin Prods., Spector will be charged with identifying and developing scripted fare for the company.

Spector comes to Tollin Prods. from Betty Thomas’ Dominant Pictures, which he ran for 3½ years.

Spector’s hire comes as Tollin continues to beef up operations at the company, which sealed a first-look programming deal with FremantleMedia Enterprises in March (Daily Variety, March 30). As part of that deal, FremantleMedia is providing overhead money for Tollin Prods.

“He’s aggressive but still has a great bedside manner,” Tollin said. “And he’s got a great nose for material. Across the board we were hearing great things about him.”

Spector will report to Kim Zubrick, Tollin’s president of production and development.

Tollin Prods. is already developing several properties for TV, including a modern Western, an interactive adventure series, a project based in a small Eastern town, a project about youth culture in Malibu and one about the Internet and its impact on the media. Tollin is also working with scribes including Dan Pyne and ESPN’s Bill Simmons.

“FremantleMedia has been supporting us both creatively and financially and giving us the kind of resources we had hoped for,” Tollin said.

At Dominant, Spector developed feature projects such as “Dallas,” “Valley of the Dolls,” “You Suck: A Love Story” and “Beached.” He also set up scripts at ABC, CBS, the CW and TBS.

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