Nevins departs Imagine TV

Prexy's deal had expired

David Nevins is out after eight years as president of Imagine TV.

Nevins’ deal was up, and although both sides discussed extending his tenure, a new deal couldn’t be reached. Nevins’ employment is tied to Imagine’s deal with 20th Century Fox TV, which was also up — and just renewed.

“It’s a good transition point for the company,” Nevins told Daily Variety. “They’re just starting a new deal (at 20th), they’ve got a lot of assets and they’re in a strong position.”

Nevins said he’s close to landing his next gig, although he declined to elaborate. Among the possibilities: A return to the executive ranks.

Imagine TV’s overhead is covered by 20th, where the shingle has been parked for years. After back and forth between Nevins and 20th for weeks, the two sides opted to part ways.

Nevins, who said he felt “it was a good time to go out,” said he believed Imagine possessed “an amazing culture that Ron (Howard) and Brian (Grazer) created.”

“I’m really proud of the work we did here,” Nevins said. “We’ve got great shows on the air, and there’s good stuff in the pipeline.”

Imagine TV just saw its signature drama, “24,” retire after eight seasons. The shingle is also behind the critically acclaimed “Friday Night Lights,” which now airs on DirecTV (with a second run on NBC); the Peacock’s “Parenthood”; Fox’s “Lie to Me”; and upcoming new NBC sitcom “Friends with Benefits.” “Friday Night Lights” and “Parenthood” are both based on hit Imagine features.

Under Nevins, Imagine also developed the critical hit “Arrested Development.”

“That show seems to have had more life after it went off the air,” Nevins said.

Nevins joined Imagine in 2002 after leaving Fox, where he’d been exec VP. While at Fox, Nevins helped develop skeins such as “24,” “Boston Public” and “The Bernie Mac Show.” Prior to Fox, he spent seven years at NBC, working his way up to senior vice president of primetime series.

It was Nevins’ time at Fox developing “24” that eventually led to the job at Imagine.

“That’s a very demanding show, and I found he was resilient and disciplined,” Grazer said in 2002. “I judge things in the form of character and expertise. In both categories he really checked out for me.”

Nevins had replaced Tony Krantz, who helped relaunch Imagine’s TV efforts in 1997.

“They really taught me how to produce,” Nevins said of his time at the shingle.

Imagine and 20th have now begun a search for Nevins’ successor.

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