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Simon sez: Time to re-up with Viacom

Division has recently landed new skeins on CBS, UPN

Viacom Prods. prexy Perry Simon has signed a new multiyear deal, keeping him in charge of the boutique studio.

A division of Paramount TV, Viacom Prods. is coming off a solid development season, having landed new dramas at CBS (“The Handler”) and UPN (“Jake 2.0”). Viacom Prods. also continues to produce “The Division” for Lifetime and co-produce “Ed” for NBC.

Paramount’s decision to renew Simon’s deal comes even as the studio has opted to shut down another one of its production arms, Big Ticket TV. That company’s prexy, Larry Lyttle, announced on Monday his plans to ankle the studio (Daily Variety, June 24).

Simon has run Viacom Prods. for nearly 10 years, having joined the shingle (then known as Viacom Television) in September 1993. Viacom Prods. became a part of Paramount’s TV operations when the two production houses’ parents merged in 1994.

Reports to Hart

Simon and Viacom Prods. report directly to Paramount TV production prexy Garry Hart.

Under Simon’s watch, Viacom Prods. has also produced programs such as the long-running ABC/WB laffer “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” and Showtime’s cult fave “The Chris Isaak Show.”

The production company also landed an Emmy and a Peabody Award for the Showtime telepic “Bang Bang You’re Dead.” Viacom Prods. produced a total of four TV movies during the 2002-2003 season.

Prior to Viacom Prods., Simon spent 13 years at NBC Entertainment, working his way up to exec VP overseeing all primetime programs under Warren Littlefield.

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