Former CBS programming exec to oversee unscripted, syndie fare
The hire of Wood, a 12-year CBS syndie vet, is another sign of expansion at One Three, a joint venture of Burnett and Hearst Entertainment. Earlier this year former HBO Anne Thomopoulos was tapped to oversee scripted development.”We’re intent on growing the reach and capabilities of One Three,” said Scott Sassa, prexy of Hearst Entertainment & Syndication. “Anne’s hiring was the first key step in that process, and Terry coming aboard is another.”
Wood was head of creative affairs and development at CBS TV Distribution before exiting in late 2010. Daytime programs including “Dr. Phil,” “Rachael Ray,” “Judge Judy” and “Judge Joe Brown” fell under Wood’s umbrella during her tenure, along with entertainment newsmags such as “Entertainment Tonight” and “Inside Edition.”
“I’m a fan of reality,” Wood told Variety, dubbing her One Three Media hiring a “dream partnership.” “Daytime for the longest time was the reality. That’s why I loved working in daytime…I love being entertained by real people.”
Burnett said he considers Wood a “personal friend and a top-level producer,” noting her “unparalleled track record of success with quality programming.”
“She is a perfect fit for One Three as we expand our business into 2013,” Burnett told Variety. “She’s got really high quality experience.”
Burnett and Hearst founded One Three Media in 2011. The shingle currently produces NBC’s “The Voice” and ABC’s “Shark Tank,” which will now be Wood’s responsibility. Burnett also produces unscripted series “Celebrity Apprentice,” “Survivor” and “The Job.” Moving forward, new unscripted programs from One Three Media will be under the supervision of Wood. Burnett previously shepherded Martha Stewart’s syndie strip for NBCUniversal, but One Three at present does not have any programming in daytime syndication.
“You’ll see us looking at daytime because I think there’s a lot of growth there,” Wood said. “With Mark and his ability to identify talent and new formats, it’s the perfect fit.”
Wood acknowledged that the daytime market is currently crowded, with yakkers including “Katie,” “The Jeff Probst Show,” “The Ricki Lake Show” and “Steve Harvey” all bowing earlier this fall. For One Three Media, the key to success in daytime, where audiences are incredibly fragmented across broadcast and cable outlets, is to be distinctive, Wood said.
“It’s about coming up with something that will be a new experience for the viewer,” Wood said. “It isn’t just about having a name and giving them an hour to talk. It’s about taking it in a direction that’s fresh. That’s what we did a decade ago with ‘Dr. Phil’ when there was no therapy on TV, and with ‘Rachael,’ where we combined food and talk. I’ve been working on some things this year that I’m going to bring to daytime through this partnership.”
Wood added that she and the One Three Media team are also already collaborating on daytime projects.
“Taking risks is important. Fresh is important,” Burnett said. “But all it’s about, in the end, is the show you’re producing good? Does it connect with viewers? From Terry’s experience on ‘Oprah,’ to ‘Dr. Phil,’ to ‘Rachael Ray,’ she was critical to bring on.”
As for primetime, Wood gave a nod to Burnett’s creation of content “that gets a genre started,” as he did with “Survivor.” “I hope to continue that tradition,” Wood said.