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FX applauds exec duo

Grad, Cherniss in favor at cabler

FX has elevated creative exec Nicholas Grad to senior vice president of series development and re-upped development veep Matt Cherniss.

Grad will be charged with development for all of the network’s comedy and drama projects, with Cherniss focused also on scripted series. Cherniss had previously worked on reality series as well, but handed those reins to recently appointed VP Eric Schrier, who now oversees both current series and development of FX’s unscripted efforts (Daily Variety, March 5).

Longform senior VP Gerard Bocaccio, whose current contract is almost up, is also expected to reup with FX for an additional two years.

Comedy development has been a major initiative for the channel since the arrival of entertainment topper John Landgraf earlier this year. Grad and Cherniss come from strong comedy backgrounds, having helped shape longrunning hits “King of Queens” and “Malcolm in the Middle,” respectively.

Both execs joined the channel’s development team two years ago, Grad as a VP and Cherniss as a director. The pair will continue to report directly to Landgraf.

“It took me about two weeks after I got here to figure out that Nick and Matt are both guys who have been an important part of FX’s success, and I’m thrilled that their humor, brainpower, and bare knuckles will be around for another couple of years,” Landgraf said.

Execs are credited with the development of the upcoming Denis Leary firefighter drama “Rescue Me,” Golden Globe nominated hour “Nip/Tuck,” and the short-lived Emmy-nommed comedy “Lucky.”

“The deals with Nick and Matt are important in maintaining the continuity of the network’s original programming strategy,” FX prexy-CEO Peter Liguori said.

Grad was most recently VP of comedy development at Columbia TriStar Television where, in addition to “King of Queens,” he helped develop “Action” and “The Tick.” Prior to that, he held a programming position at Fox.

Cherniss spent three years at Fox as director of current programming, where he worked on shows including “Malcolm,” “Titus,” “Beverly Hills, 90210” and “America’s Most Wanted.”

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