A&E names Sabinson sr. VP, programming

Focus to be nonfiction, cross-promotion

NEW YORK — Allan Sabinson, the consultant who has helped A&E ramp up its production of original movies since summer 1997, has joined the network full time as senior VP of programming.

Although Sabinson, 49, has focused on scripted movies, he’ll take charge of all of A&E’s nonfiction programming, including its “Biography” series.

The most promotable specials on A&E are the original movies such as “Dash & Lilly,” “The Crossing,” “The Golden Spiders: A Nero Wolfe Mystery,” “Thin Air” and the forthcoming adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby,” featuring Mira Sorvino. As a consultant, Sabinson had a hand in developing all of them.

Cross-promo plans

A&E will become more active in cross promoting its movies and non-fiction programming, Sabinson says. For example, when “The Great Gatsby” premieres later this season, the “Biography” series will do a profile of Fitzgerald.

More of these pics are in the works, said Sabinson, and one of the original mysteries could lead to a weekly hourlong series — “a bigger financial challenge than almost anything else we’ve ever done,” he said.

According to Sabinson, A&E commissions its movies from four sources: Jaffe-Braunstein, Granada, Sony and Hallmark. He declined to be more specific about financial details, but sources say A&E ponies up about two-thirds of the production cost of its movies, which range between $3 million-$5 million. On most of its deals, A&E gets exclusive Western Hemisphere rights (the U.S., Canada and South America) to the pics for which it puts up majority financing.

Reporting to Sabinson are Ed Hersh and CarolAnne Dolan, co-VPs of documentary programming; Delia Fine, VP of film, drama and performing-arts programs; and Barry Schulman, VP of programming and program strategy. Sabinson in turn reports to Dan Davids, A&E exec VP and G.M.

Previously, Sabinson was Miramax Films prexy of production, TNT exec VP of original programming and ABC exec VP for movies and miniseries.

More TV

  • RightsTrade Signs Deal With Lionsgate for

    RightsTrade Signs Deal With Lionsgate for TV Programming (EXCLUSIVE)

    NEW YORK — Allan Sabinson, the consultant who has helped A&E ramp up its production of original movies since summer 1997, has joined the network full time as senior VP of programming. Although Sabinson, 49, has focused on scripted movies, he’ll take charge of all of A&E’s nonfiction programming, including its “Biography” series. The most […]

  • Sinclair

    Sinclair Revises Divestiture Plan to Save Tribune Merger, Denies Misleading FCC

    NEW YORK — Allan Sabinson, the consultant who has helped A&E ramp up its production of original movies since summer 1997, has joined the network full time as senior VP of programming. Although Sabinson, 49, has focused on scripted movies, he’ll take charge of all of A&E’s nonfiction programming, including its “Biography” series. The most […]

  • 'The Crown': First Look at Helena

    'The Crown': Netflix Releases First Look at Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret

    NEW YORK — Allan Sabinson, the consultant who has helped A&E ramp up its production of original movies since summer 1997, has joined the network full time as senior VP of programming. Although Sabinson, 49, has focused on scripted movies, he’ll take charge of all of A&E’s nonfiction programming, including its “Biography” series. The most […]

  • 'Saturday Night Live' China Version Yanked

    Chinese Version of 'Saturday Night Live' Yanked From Youku

    NEW YORK — Allan Sabinson, the consultant who has helped A&E ramp up its production of original movies since summer 1997, has joined the network full time as senior VP of programming. Although Sabinson, 49, has focused on scripted movies, he’ll take charge of all of A&E’s nonfiction programming, including its “Biography” series. The most […]

  • Fox Sports World Cup Production BTS

    Global Broadcasters Score Big With Live World Cup Final Ratings

    NEW YORK — Allan Sabinson, the consultant who has helped A&E ramp up its production of original movies since summer 1997, has joined the network full time as senior VP of programming. Although Sabinson, 49, has focused on scripted movies, he’ll take charge of all of A&E’s nonfiction programming, including its “Biography” series. The most […]

  • The Bold Type Meghann Fahy

    'The Bold Type' Boss and Star on 'Normalizing Conversations About Gun Control'

    NEW YORK — Allan Sabinson, the consultant who has helped A&E ramp up its production of original movies since summer 1997, has joined the network full time as senior VP of programming. Although Sabinson, 49, has focused on scripted movies, he’ll take charge of all of A&E’s nonfiction programming, including its “Biography” series. The most […]

  • Streaming Subscribers Overtake Pay-TV Customers for

    Streaming Subscribers Overtake Pay-TV Customers for First Time in the U.K.

    NEW YORK — Allan Sabinson, the consultant who has helped A&E ramp up its production of original movies since summer 1997, has joined the network full time as senior VP of programming. Although Sabinson, 49, has focused on scripted movies, he’ll take charge of all of A&E’s nonfiction programming, including its “Biography” series. The most […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content