Nina Wass, Heather Schuster to steer scripted development push
Ryan Seacrest Prods. has bulked up its exec team as the shingle makes scripted TV development a high priority.TV vet Nina Wass has joined Seacrest Prods. as exec VP of scripted programming. Heather Schuster has transitioned from Reveille/Shine to serve as senior veep of development. The appointments of Wass, Schuster and other execs come after Clear Channel acquired a minority stake in Seacrest Prods. earlier this year. Separately, private equity giants Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital committed up to $300 million to fund new business opportunities driven by Seacrest. Influx of funds has allowed Seacrest Prods., currently known for reality programming including cable juggernaut “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” and its spinoffs, to dive into the scripted arena and ink exclusive overall deals with a handful of producers. Last year, Seacrest Prods. sold a TV adaptation of “The Nanny Diaries” to ABC with the Weinstein Co. Seacrest Prods. is currently producing Bravo’s “Shahs of Sunset,” ABC’s “TV’s Most Dynamic Duos” and E!’s “Married to Jonas,” which bowed Sunday to solid ratings. Company also is working with Sony Pictures TV on a CBS pilot adapting the Zynga game “Draw Something” into a reality show. Wass comes to Seacrest Prods. after working as a creative exec at OWN. Before that she had a long run as a producer at ABC Studios, overseeing 20 pilots for major nets and shepherding numerous series. In addition to joining the Seacrest team, Wass is developing comedy and drama pilots for Lifetime, TV Land and Showtime. Schuster’s background is in unscripted TV, having worked on “Tabatha’s Salon Takeover,” “The Apprentice” and “Celebrity Fit Club.” Shingle has also added Joseph Ferraro as veep of development and Gordon Cassidy as VP of current programming. Both report to Schuster. It has inked two-year overall deals with producer Eric Lange, who will work on unscripted projects, and multihyphenate brothers Dan and Ben Newmark.