Perry Simon’s Shore View Entertainment is having a busy frosh season, with the former Viacom Prods. prexy quietly setting up more than a dozen network projects under his newly formed Par-based TV banner.
Paramount Network Television shuttered Simon-led Viacom Prods. over the summer but kept Simon on board, inking the exec to a seven-figure, multiyear pod deal — one of the few on the Par lot. Under the name Shore View Entertainment, Simon will produce both series and longform programming for broadcast and cable nets.
Simon’s slate of 16 projects (and counting) makes it one of the busiest pods in town. Development roster includes contributions from several feature talents, including Burr Steers (“Igby Goes Down”) and Peter Illiff (“Patriot Games”).
In addition, Simon — whose former role as exec VP at NBC saw him overseeing classic skeins such as “Cheers,” “Seinfeld” and “Law & Order” — has come on board as an exec producer on the second season of Par’s “The 4400,” which Simon oversaw as an exec at Viacom.
Simon has tapped Pamela Soper, former VP of creative affairs at Viacom, to serve as head of development for the shingle.
Par Network TV prexy David Stapf, officially confirming the Shore View deal for the first time, said the studio will benefit from Simon’s “passion for great television and fresh ideas.”
Simon said his goal with Shore View — named after the San Francisco street on which he grew up– is to create “classy, smart, commercial and popular shows” for all the networks.
“The same kind of shows I did at Viacom I want to do at Shore View, but now I’m one step closer to the creative process,” Simon said.
Simon said he’s putting a heavy emphasis on comedy, betting the form isn’t dead yet.
“Most of my career at NBC was spent in comedy, and I was fortunate enough to be part of what was probably the golden age of network comedy,” he said. “I can’t imagine a world where we can’t witness a resurgence in that form.”
With Par and CBS both keeping a tighter-than-usual lid on their development slates, Simon would only give the names of the writers/producers with whom he’s working. He declined to offer specifics about their projects, though details of several projects have already leaked out.
He’s exec producing an Irish family drama from Jim and Naomi Sheridan set up at NBC. Scribe Noah Hawley is also working on a project with Simon for FX.
And on the longform front, Simon is exec producing a telepic for Nick at Nite about a dysfunctional family’s vacation.
Simon also said his slate reps “a whole mix” of program types, from relationship dramas a la “Ed” to action-driven skeins, some mystery hours and “several half-hour comedies. mostly in the contemporary young adult genre.”
Other new relationships for Simon include the projects with Iliff and Steers, along with Ian Gurvitz (“Wings”); Neils Mueller and Kevin Kennedy (“The Assassination of Richard Nixon”); Perry Rein and Gigi McCreery (“Yes, Dear”); Eric Lev (“One on One”); Ken Hanes (“Doc”); and Kevin Kopelow and Heath Seifert (“All That”).
Reunion with writers
Simon is also reuniting with a number of scribes from his days as an exec at Viacom and, before that, NBC.
David Greenwalt (“Angel”) is producing a show with Simon, as are Les Firestein (“Drew Carey”); Lisa Melamed (“Sisters”); Nancy Miller (“Any Day Now”); Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider (“Chris Isaak”); and John Sakmar and Kenny Lenhart (“Ed”).
Simon said the shift from Viacom to Shore View has been “seamless.”
“I loved my time at Viacom, but with all the shifts and changes in the business, the time came for Viacom to be integrated into Paramount,” he said. “It opened up a new opportunity to create a company I’d always dreamed of starting.”