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Tarses pacts with Polone

Partnership will help with volume of Pariah projects

Gavin Polone and Jamie Tarses are getting into business together.

Tarses has joined Polone as a full partner in Pariah, the TV and film company started by Polone a few years ago. Company has separate film and TV deals at Sony.

Decision to partner grew out of Polone’s desire to bring in someone to help with the large volume of projects in the works at Pariah. It also happened quickly: Tarses and Polone hooked up at a party a few weeks ago and by last Thursday, Polone had formally popped the question.

Polone said he wanted to have an exec by his side who has as much experience in the business as he does.

“The fun part is going to be having someone here who’s not an employee and who I can turn to and say, ‘Is this right?,’ as well as someone who can fill the gaps in my experience,” Polone told Daily Variety. “When you work with someone as a peer, it’s much more rewarding.”

For her part, Tarses said she was looking for a way to continue developing TV projects while also fulfilling a longtime desire to produce feature films.

“I’ve wanted to be in the movie business from the moment I got into the TV business,” she said, noting she’s long been an informal adviser to a number of film scribe friends “just for fun.”

Polone said Tarses’ strengths as a development exec will serve her well in the feature arena.

“She understands how to construct stories and characters,” he said. “Having her here is going to amp us up on the film side.”

Tarses, the former ABC Entertainment prexy and NBC development chief, most recently was partnered with longtime colleague Karey Burke in the NBC-based Untitled Burke/Tarses Project. Burke recently became a partner in Ashton Kutcher and Jason Goldberg’s Katalyst (Daily Variety, July 14).

“I’m the new Karey, only not as cute and much taller,” Polone joked, adding that execs at Sony were on board with the new set-up at Pariah.

Partnership is effective immediately. Company name will stay the same.

Tarses and Polone have known each other for nearly two decades, coming up in the business at the same time as a development exec and a rep, respectively. They developed a Chris Elliott project together when Tarses was at ABC, but this will be their most significant collaboration.

“Gavin and I had many opportunities to be mad at each other over the years, but it never happened,” Tarses said. “I’ve always respected the way he does business.”

Because of the sheer number of projects Polone usually has in the works, “As hard as I try, there’s sometimes going to be a little less attention paid than is probably necessary,” Polone conceded. “By having another set of eyeballs, the quality is going to go up, which will translate into more success.”

Tarses said her “objective isn’t to come in and change things (at Pariah). There’s already a great slate there. I want to just make sure there’s more good work coming out.”

On the TV side, Pariah is in various stages of development on projects from notable scribes including Dan Therriault (“Witness Protection”); Adam Barr (“Will & Grace”); Fax Bahr and Adam Small (“Blue Collar TV”); Ajay Sahgal (“Nevermind Nirvana”); and Bruce Wagner (“Force Majeur”).

Company has a pilot deal in place with NBC and a two-script deal at UPN. Casting is under way on the HBO pilot “Sex Life.”

On the feature front, Pariah is in pre-production on the Ivan Reitman-helmed “Super Ex,” starring Luke Wilson and Uma Thurman. Post-production has begun on feature “Population 436.”

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