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Inside Move: Former NBC exec a Katalyst for change

Burke joins Kutcher, Goldberg shingle

Former NBC development chief Karey Burke is getting into business with Ashton Kutcher and Jason Goldberg.

Burke is set to become the third partner in Katalyst TV, the small-screen shingle founded by Kutcher and Goldberg. Company, which last fall inked a rich two-year overall deal at 20th Century Fox TV, has had early success with reality skeins such as “Beauty and the Geek” and “Punk’d.”

Neither Burke nor execs at Katalyst would comment. However, it seems likely that Burke’s hiring is designed to up Katalyst’s profile in the scripted arena in the wake of the shingle’s reality successes.

Katalyst has been working closely with 20th’s low-cost unit, Fox 21. Latter shingle teamed with Katalyst and 3 Ball Prods. on the WB summer hit “Beauty and the Geek,” which has been renewed for a second season; “Punk’d” has been extended for a sixth.

During her decade at the Peacock, Burke had a hand in developing a wide array of hit skeins, including “Friends,” “NewsRadio,” “Scrubs,” “Ed” and “Boomtown.”

Burke was exec VP of primetime development at the Peacock until May 2004. She then formed a production shingle with former NBC colleague (and ABC Entertainment chief) Jamie Tarses, inking an overall deal at what was then NBC Studios.

Company developed a number of projects, including a pilot for Touchstone TV starring Julie Bowen (“Ed”) and the buzzworthy project “Nevermind Nirvana.” Burke and Tarses are still working on at least two projects together as their NBC deal winds down, insiders said.

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