Produced By Conference Shines Brighter Spotlight on TV

Mark Burnett, Gale Anne Hurd among speakers at PGA event June 8-9 at Fox

Like all of Hollywood, the Producers Guild of America is turning up the volume on TV and new media.

In years past, the PGA’s Produced By conference has focused heavily on the world of movies.

The shift will be readily apparent at the producers group’s  fifth conference, set for June 8-9 at Fox Studios. Leading voices in the TV world such as Mark Burnett, Gale Anne Hurd, Darlene Hunt, Jason Katims, Kurt SutterMarci WisemanSharon Tal Yguado and Beau Willimon are featured speakers, sharing the spotlight with film heavyweights such as J.J. Abrams, Roberto Orci and Tom Cruise.

The PGA calculates that 71%  of this year’s panels will cover TV and new media with 8% solely focused on film and 21% covering film and TV. That’s a big shift from last year when Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas headed the most popular panel and the allocations were split evenly — 44% on TV and new media, 44% on film and 11% on film and TV.

In 2011, the split was 42% TV and new media and 58% film;  in 2010, it was 60% TV and new media, 36% film and  4% film and TV; and in 2009 — the first year of the conference–the allocation was 44% TV and new media, 50% film and 6% film and TV.

PGA president Mark Gordon, whose credits include “Saving Private Ryan” and “The Day After Tomorrow” on the movie side and “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Criminal Minds” on the smallscreen, said the PGA’s shift in emphasis  is not by accident.

“It used to be that when you were starting out as a producer, you wanted to be in film,” he suggested.  “But there are too many great opportunities in TV to pass up.”

Gary Lucchesi, one of the conference’s chairmen and speakers, acknowledges that recent production trends left the conference programmers with no choice. “Films are at a steady state while we have seen tremendous growth in new media,” he added.

A rep for the PGA said Friday that the conference has nearly hit its capacity of 1,000 attendees.

Co-chairs Tracey Edmonds, Marshall Herskovitz and Rachel Klein are also speaking. Other speakers include David Alpert, partner at Circle of Confusion; Steve Blume of Content Partners; Joe Chianese of Entertainment Partners; Cassian Elwes; Reginald Hudlin; Michael J. Kump, partner at Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert; Carl Kurlander of Steeltown Entertainment Project; David Robinson and Steven Sills at Green Hasson Janks; Hayma “Screech” Washington; and Ken Ziffren of Ziffren Brittenham.

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