Former Miramax production co-prexy Meryl Poster is getting into the TV business, inking a multipronged deal with NBC Universal.
NBC U TV Group prexy Jeff Zucker lured Poster to the Peacock, offering her an agreement that will allow her to produce both TV shows and feature projects via first-look deals with NBC U Television Studios and Universal Pictures, respectively.
Pact also calls for Poster to serve as a creative consultant for the TV group, reporting directly to Zucker.
In an interview Monday, Poster said that, at least at first, her “primary responsibility” would be the consultancy gig.
“I’m not at all interested in becoming the head of anything. I just want to make a contribution,” Poster said. “I want to lend my creative knowledge (to projects) wherever I can. I’m primarily working for Jeff.”
Poster will have an office at NBC’s 30 Rock headquarters in Gotham. She’ll also hire a development exec for features and TV projects.
In a statement, Zucker called Poster “a major force within the industry whose varied interests span the creative spectrum.
“Her proven track record, theatrical vision and bold ideas will challenge our existing concepts and have an important impact on our television properties,” he added.
Poster said coming from a mini-major like Miramax will allow her to bring a different perspective to the TV business. She’ll also be able to put together projects through her various connections with talent, both in front of and behind the camera — though Poster seems likely to take a more opportunistic approach to development.
“If there’s something I can make a contribution to, then I’ll be a part of it,” she said, adding she was “not looking to be in the spec marketplace.”
First-look deal with Universal Pictures reunites Poster with John Gordon, the former Miramax exec who recently landed at U as co-prexy of production.
Poster said she and Zucker have known each other for 14 years.
“We double a lot” with their respective spouses, she said. “He convinced me to come over to NBC.”
After ankling Miramax in June, Poster took several months off to mull her next move and to spend time with her family. When she began to focus on her next career move, several opportunities presented themselves before Zucker stepped in with his bid.
“It was something new and challenging and different from what I did before,” she said. “I can’t top what I did before, and I’m not looking to.”
During her 16-year run at Miramax, Poster exec produced features such as “Chicago,” “The Cider House Rules,” “Chocolat” and “Cop Land.” As a studio exec, she oversaw “Finding Neverland,” “Good Will Hunting,” “Shakespeare in Love” and “Little Voice,” among others.
Deal with Poster follows a similar pact Zucker made with sports producer Michael Weisman to serve as exec producer for the NBC U TV Group (Daily Variety, July 13).