Madden is a highly regarded exec who has presided over the unit’s substantial growth as a producer of drama, comedy and alternative series for cable and digital players, from “The Americans” for FX to USA’s “Graceland” to “The Killing” for Netflix.
He’d received some inquiries about other opportunities, but as he surveyed his options, Madden didn’t see the grass as any greener beyond the Fox studio gates.
“I thought about what I would want if I left and there really isn’t much I don’t have,” Madden told Variety. He reports to 20th Century Fox TV CEOs Gary Newman and Dana Walden, which is another reason it was an easy decision to stay, he said.
“They promised me creative autonomy when they gave me this job, and they have absolutely lived up to that promise,” he said. “They’ve been supportive of me when I’ve screwed up and they’ve been supportive when we’ve had success. At Fox, everyone I interact with from Rupert (Murdoch) on down, it’s always a conversation about ‘How can we do more? What are the opportunities? How can we approach the business in a different way.’ “
That environment is particularly important today as the landscape for original programming has grown so dramatically, and the dealmaking becomes increasingly complicated as it involves multiplatform rights issues. The corporate support for FTVS — one of two cable production units at the studio (the other is the Fox 21 banner headed by Bert Salke) — was gratifying to Madden, who was named president in 2010.
“David encourages creators to take big swings, and the results have been breakthrough programs, from ‘The Shield’ and ‘The Killing’ to ‘Burn Notice’ and ‘The Americans.’ He’s a smart, strategic leader who is beloved by both the creative community and his colleagues. We couldn’t be happier that he’ll be with us for many years to come,” Walden and Newman said in a statement.
Madden joined FTVS in 2000 as head of its movies and miniseries division. Before that he was an indie producer whose Cort/Madden Co. produced more than 20 films. Earlier in his career he worked as a feature development exec at Paramount and for Fox.