If it was up to Gail Berman, summer would segue directly into winter.
As president of entertainment at Fox, Berman knows the advantages of launching a show away from the fall free-for-all.
Bowing at the beginning of August, when the competition was mostly coming from basic cable, “The OC” has been a bona fide hit for Fox and looks to have a place on the net’s sked for years to come.
“We’re going to be delivering much more original programming in June, July and August,” says Berman, one of the recipients of the inaugural Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Awards.
Few, if any, network series that premiered in September and October became substantial hits. Even such TV heavyweights as David E. Kelley and Jerry Bruckheimer saw their skeins rejected by auds.
Hence, Berman has led the charge for year-round programming.
“We can’t be doing the same thing anymore,” exclaims Berman, whose contract at the net was extended when Sandy Grushow left as head of Fox TV Entertainment Group.
In addition to scripted fare like “The OC” and the critically applauded “Arrested Development,” Berman spearheaded reality hit “The Simple Life.”
The just-ended “Simple Life,” exec produced by “Real World” vets Mary-Ellis Bunim and Jonathan Murray, ranks season-to-date as the No. 2 show on Fox behind “The Simpsons.”