Weinstein Co. taps John Miller

Exec VP charged with expanding TV unit

The Weinstein Co. has hired former MTV exec John Miller to head its TV unit, tasking him with expanding the company’s smallscreen efforts.

The L.A.-based Miller will assume the title of exec VP and report to co-prexy of production Michael Cole.

Barbara Schneeweiss, veep of TV and film production and development, will continue working on TV projects as well as TWC’s theatrical productions. She has an 11-year history with the Weinsteins, dating well back into the Miramax era. Schneeweiss will report to Miller on TV projects and to Cole on film projects.

In the two years since TWC’s formation, television hasn’t been the top priority. Still, the company’s talent relationships keep it in the mix to some extent.

Shooting just wrapped in Botswana on “The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency,” likely a limited series based on the Alexander McCall Smith bestsellers. Anthony Minghella directed from a script by Richard Curtis.

Mirage, co-headed by Minghella and Sidney Pollack, is producing along with Amy Moore. There is no network partner as yet, and the exact shape of “Ladies” has not been set: It could be a made-for or a series at this point. TWC is simply calling it “an event.”

Development titles already on Miller’s roster include a revival of “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” and the spy-themed “By Order of the President,” based on the latest series of novels by bestselling author W.E.B. Griffin. “President” explores politics and intelligence in the effort to fight terrorism, from the White House to covert foreign operatives.

The Weinsteins first entered TV production while still running Miramax. Titles included “Project Greenlight,” which attracted press but not meaningful ratings, and “Project Runway,” which continues to be a ratings hit and media magnet.

Miramax TV also backed some ventures involving talent in the company fold, such as “Scream” scribe Kevin Williamson’s short-lived WB skein “Glory Days” and Kevin Smith’s ABC adaptation of his film “Clerks.”

Miller recently had an overall deal with Telepictures Production and Touchstone Television.

He was exec VP of original series and animation at MTV, where he steered such series such as “The Tom Green Show,” “Making the Band,” “Undressed” and “Jackass.” He also helped establish MTV’s successful “Ten Spot” timeslot and exec produced the likes of “Jackass,” “The Andy Dick Show” and “Viva La Bam.”

Before MTV, Miller was director of development for Foxlab, where he created, developed and produced 26 episodes of syndie reality series “Trauma Center.”

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