Burbank-based indie production company Popular Arts Entertainment is expanding its operations, opening a Gotham office and enlisting veteran TV producer Dick Schmidt to oversee development efforts on the West Coast.

The company, founded in 1990 by Tim Braine and Kevin Meagher, is known for co-creating the hit Comedy Central animated series “Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist.” Braine will head up the Gotham outpost in a bid to boost the company’s profile among the East Coast-based cablers that are the target market for much of Popular Arts’ reality and kidvid productions.

Popular Arts’ active production slate includes the Disney Channel series “Going Wild With Jeff Corwin” and “Jackie Collins’ Hollywood,” a syndie strip contender set for a summer test run on CBS O&Os in New York, L.A. and a handful of other markets.

Shepherding slate

Schmidt, most recently a senior producer for “Going Wild,” will shepherd the company’s growing development slate, which includes a second kidvid series with Corwin for the Disney Channel.

Popular Arts also boasts an extensive, 10,000-plus-hour library of entertainment news, celebrity and showbiz-related footage. Partners Braine and Meagher got their start producing daily and weekly entertainment news segs and features for HBO, NBC’s weekend “Today,” the FX cabler, Delta Airlines and many other international channels.

Source of ‘Legends’

That library will serve as the foundation for “Legends,” a series of hour-long docus on Hollywood recently ordered by the Learning Channel cabler. The Popular Arts’ archive of soundbites and famous faces also helped it land the production deal with CBS’ Eyemark Entertainment for “Jackie Collins’ Hollywood.”

Braine segued to Popular Arts in 1990 after launching “HBO Entertainment News” interstitial segs during his tenure as VP of program promotion for HBO. Meagher’s long list of TV production credits stints with KCBS’ “Two on the Town,” ABC’s “The Home Show” and the syndie skeins “Entertainment Tonight” and “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.”