Mandalay Television has filled out its executive ranks and inked a two-year extension of its production-distribution pact with Columbia TriStar TV.

The deal gives Col TriStar exclusive distribution rights on Mandalay’s network primetime series and a first-look arrangement on projects for cable and firstrun syndication.

Mandalay Entertainment’s TV arm, headed by prexy Scott Sanders, has done a lot of smallscreen business in the two years since the company was founded by Peter Guber and Paul Schaeffer.

Mandalay earned second season pickups for its Lifetime comedy “Oh Baby” and Showtime’s “Rude Awakenings,” although its ABC series “Cupid” and UPN drama “Mercy Point” were short-lived last season. Also, Mandalay’s drama “Young Americans” is said to still be a contender for midseason at the WB Network.

“We were fortunate to have the success we did in our first two years, and now we’re filling out our staff to work on the current projects as well as our anticipated growth,” Sanders said.

Cotton in

Nancy Cotton, formerly director of drama development at ABC, has been named veepee of comedy and drama series. Jason L. Wood has signed on as veep of talent and casting after working as a casting manager for Greenblatt-Janollari Studio and Twentieth Century Fox TV.

Also promoted to director of development was Chris Selak, who helped shepherd “Rude Awakening,” “Cupid” and “Mercy Point” last year as associate director of development.

TV vet Joe Voci has served as exec VP and an exec producer on Mandalay productions since 1997.

Among the projects in the works are a half-hour anthology series for NBC, an ensemble show set in the advertising world for HBO and an edgy comedy for Lifetime about an overweight woman’s struggle to survive in a culture where thin is definitely in.

Mandalay is also working with the company’s sports division to develop a fictional syndie hour featuring real-life pro wrestling stars.

“Because we are a small boutique company, we really have the ability to communicate and liaise with (various Mandalay divisions) on a daily basis to make sure we turn over every stone in every area of our business,” Sanders said.