You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Sci Fi lifts vital Vitale to sr. veep

Exec credited for growing pic library

NEW YORK — The Sci Fi Channel has promoted Tom Vitale to the new post of senior VP of programming and original movies, reinforcing his role as network point man for as many as two dozen fresh made-for-cable pics every year.

Dave Howe, general manager of Sci Fi and Vitale’s boss, said the net keeps harvesting more viewers each year at least in part because its Saturday Action Movie, a weekly primetime lineup of new made-fors, offers programming people can’t get anywhere else.

“Vitale’s dealmaking skills have paid dividends in allowing the network to amass a library of movies that we can draw on for years to come,” Howe said.

Sci Fi pays a modest license fee of about $750,000 for the U.S. rights to each movie, whose production cost usually hovers at $2 million-$2.5 million.

Although deal terms appear unfavorable to the suppliers, they’re eager to do them because the international marketplace has a fondness for monster movies, which travel well across foreign borders.

More people continue to discover the Saturday Action Movie, whose Nielsen numbers are up about 20% vs. the same period a year ago.

Vitale also buys theatrical movies and reruns of broadcast, cable and syndicated series for Sci Fi, but Howe said that these purchases play second fiddle to the network’s originals, including hit series “Stargate SG-1” and “Stargate Atlantis” and such big miniseries as “Taken” and “Children of Dune.”

Vitale joined Sci Fi in 1993 as director of acquisitions. Before that, he was an executive in syndication and marketing for Viacom Entertainment, working on such series as “The Cosby Show,” “Double Dare” and “The Montel Williams Show.”

More TV

  • Outlander 412

    'Outlander' Recap: Brianna Confronts Her Rapist in 'Providence'

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Providence,” the 12th episode of “Outlander” Season 4. There were two competing narratives on “Outlander” this week — one that was largely invented for the show but was a very clever way to keep a certain character involved, and another that was also changed [...]

  • Gillian AndersonX-Files press conference, Century City,

    Gillian Anderson to Play Margaret Thatcher in Season 4 of 'The Crown' (Report)

    “The Crown” has found its Iron Lady. Gillian Anderson is said to have signed on to play British prime minister Margaret Thatcher in the fourth season of the much-praised Netflix drama series. Anderson’s casting was first reported by the Sunday Times. A Netflix rep declined to comment on the report. Anderson is the latest notable [...]

  • FICG Names Estrella Araiza As New

    Estrella Araiza To Head Up Guadalajara Intl Film Festival

    The Guadalajara Intl. Film Festival (FICG) has announced that Estrella Araiza, until now the festival’s head of industry and markets and director of the Guadalajara IntL. Film Festival in Los Angeles, has been promoted to the position of general director of the prominent Mexican festival. She replaces Ivan Trujillo, appointed director of TV UNAM. Araiza [...]

  • AGS2 Key Art, Image IDs: AGS2_081218_2727,

    Starz Releases 'American Gods' Season 2 Trailer (Watch)

    Starz has released a second season trailer for “American Gods,” which returns to the cabler Mar. 10, depicting the brewing war between Gods old and new in the series based on Neil Gaiman’s novel of the same name. “When people first came to America they brought us with them,” the trailer begins, flashing images of [...]

  • R. Kelly

    R. Kelly Accusers Detail Abuse, Reveal Evidence on 'Dateline'

    The continuing controversy surrounding R. Kelly, including allegations of sexual abuse by a number of women over three decades, was the focus of Friday’s episode of “Dateline.” Speaking to accusers Sparkle, Jerhonda Pace and parents Tim and Jonjelyn Savage, among others, NBC’s Andrea Canning heard more harrowing tales of abduction and sexual misconduct on the part [...]

  • Kenan Thompson

    NBC Orders Comedy Pilots 'Saving Kenan' and 'Like Magic'

    NBC has ordered comedies “Saving Kenan” and “Like Magic” to pilot. “Saving Kenan” is a single-camera comedy starring “Saturday Night Live” veteran Kenan Thompson as a “newly widowed dad determined to be everything for his kids while begrudgingly letting his persistent father-in-law become more involved in their lives.” Jackie Clarke will serve as writer and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content