Jamie Tarses has pulled off a successful second act in Hollywood — and it’s on her own terms.
Ten years after her sometimes rocky tenure as president of ABC Entertainment, Tarses is once again making her mark in primetime, having landed several new series on broadcast and cable over the past year.
Tarses’ Sony Pictures TV-based Fanfare is having a banner year, landing the Matthew Perry comedy “Mr. Sunshine” and the relationship half-hour “Happy Endings” at ABC; the romantic comedy “Mad Love” (written by her brother, Matt Tarses) at CBS and the buddy laugher “Franklin and Bash” at TBS.
TNT, meanwhile, just gave another renewal to Fanfare’s Jada Pinkett Smith drama “Hawthorne,” and until recently TBS aired Tarses’ “My Boys” (which just ended its run).
“For me, the momentum will only be there if these shows work,” Tarses says. “Most of my attention and focus is on working with the writers and producers to get these shows launched and as good as they can be. Getting pilots picked up, that’s a huge thrill, but now we need to turn them into successful series.”
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With her eye on getting all those new shows up and running, Tarses has turned to former Alphabet colleague Julia Franz to oversee Fanfare’s bustling development.
“It takes a lot of time and energy to produce just one show,” Tarses says. “There weren’t enough hours in the day. Circumstances dictated that I find someone whom I liked and respected to come in and really do what I was doing (in development).”
Tarses says she no longer harbors any interest in getting back into the executive game, having been a network suit for more than a decade.
“I was an exec for a long time, and it was an extraordinary experience,” she says. “But I’ve got the greatest job in the world now. I feel blessed with how things are going, working with people I love and respect and given the freedom that an executive job wouldn’t give me.”