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TV vet returns to Mouse

Jonas makes jump to Touchstone TV

After a 15-year detour at Warner Bros. TV, Tony Jonas is officially back in the Disney camp.

The former WBTV prexy has inked a two-year overall deal setting up his self-titled production banner at Touchstone Television. Move marks a homecoming for Jonas, who was VP development during the late 1980s at what was then Disney Television.

More recently, Jonas has been working as an exec producer on skeins including Showtime’s “Queer as Folk.”

Touchstone deal grew out of Jonas’ role as exec producer, with Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, of ABC’s upcoming gladiator drama “Empire.” Jonas came on board last year to help with the Coliseum-size production, spending most of last year on location in Rome.

In addition to developing comedy and drama projects for Touchstone, Jonas said he also wants to pitch in on existing projects, much as he did with “Empire.”

“I’m doing my best to let people know I’m available to focus and help fix something if it needs it,” he said. “I’m hoping there may be value in my experience, that I can be available as a guy who can come in in a pinch and help out.”

On the development side, Jonas said he’s also looking forward to creating new projects with scribes based at Touchstone.

Jonas is already in the early stages of development on several projects.

After exiting his WBTV exec post in 1999, Jonas set up Tony Jonas Prods. on the Warners lot. Shingle went on to produce several series, including “Queer as Folk.”

Other projects to come out of the company include Showtime’s “Leap Years” and the ABC laffer “Lost at Home.”

Jonas began his 15-year run at WBTV in 1989, when it was still Lorimar. He was senior VP of drama development, supervising projects including “I’ll Fly Away,” “Sisters” and “Homefront.”

In 1991, Jonas was bumped up to exec VP of creative affairs, working for then studio chief Leslie Moonves. When Moonves left in 1995, Jonas was tapped to replace him; exec worked on projects including “Friends,” “ER” and “The Drew Carey Show.”

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