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Fox B’casting taps two in series TV

Sr. VPs of drama, comedy development named

Fox Broadcasting has locked in a revamped series development team, tapping Peter Johnson and Jeremy Gold to head up the hunt for new dramas and comedies.

Johnson, a Fox vet of 13 years, has been upped to senior VP of drama development, while Gold moves over from sister studio 20th Century Fox TV to take over as senior veepee of comedy development.

Both will report to Craig Erwich, the former drama chief upped to exec VP of programming last month. Moves come in the wake of Erwich’s promotion and the departure of Fox comedy chief Tracy Katsky at the end of June.

Erwich said he viewed Johnson and Gold as “partners” in the development process, and that his familiarity with both men should ensure a seamless transition as all three settle into their new gigs.

Indeed, while Fox’s development team has been completely overhauled, the changes actually aren’t that dramatic, Fox Entertainment prexy Gail Berman said.

“You have to look at what we’re doing. We’re promoting from within (the Fox Entertainment Group) people who have learned and grown in the type of programming philosophy we’re trying to promote. These people understand our message of the need to be bold.”

Berman said it’s rare that a net is able “to look internally, and it says so much about where this company is right now.”

Broad perspective

Exec said last month’s restructuring, including Erwich’s promotion, will allow her to “think a little more globally, to have a little more perspective” while still maintaining her imprint on development.

Johnson has been at Fox for virtually all of his creative career, joining in 1991 as a junior research analyst. He moved over to drama development in 1997 and was upped to VP of the department in 2000, helping develop the Fox hit “24” and upcoming serial “The OC.”

“Peter’s essentially been my partner in every decision over the last eight years,” Erwich said. “He’s grown up with the Fox brand and understands it as well as anyone else here does. He’s basically been doing the job, and now it’s his turn (to run drama).”

Gold has been VP of comedy at 20th Century Fox since 2000, helping develop laffers such as “Bernie Mac,” “Still Standing” and the upcoming “Arrested Development.” He had previously worked as veep of development for producer Robert Morton’s Panamort Television and as Gotham-based director of primetime casting for ABC.

“Jeremy’s stationery will change, but it doesn’t feel like we’re bringing in someone from the outside,” Erwich said. “We’ve always been impressed with him. He really has a tireless creative energy.”

Dana Walden, prexy of 20th Century Fox TV, said she was “very excited” to see Gold moving on to a new gig.

“It makes me feel great when people in our organization can be recognized and promoted within the News Corp. family,” she said. “It shows the system works.”

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