The biggest difference between working at a network or a studio and working as a producer, says Chernin Entertainment’s Katherine Pope, is the amount of time one spends in the car.
“There’s a lot more driving,” the former NBC exec says with a laugh. “When you’re at a studio or the network, everybody comes to you.”
Despite the “insanely puzzle-like schedule” Pope has kept up in her two years with the company, this fall will see several of the projects she’s been working on finally hit the smallscreen, including the animated “Allen Gregory,” executive produced by Jonah Hill; “New Girl” for Fox; and the return of “Breakout Kings” for A&E. Pope likens the experience to taking kids to school for the first time.
“You kind of drop them off with the network and say, ‘Take care of them for me, please,’?” says Pope, who started at NBC in 2000 and worked up the ranks before she was let go by then-chief Ben Silverman in 2008.
Pope will shepherd many more shows in the coming months, now that the company is up and running, and given the three-series-per-year commitment her boss Peter Chernin negotiated for his company when he left Fox in 2008. In fact, many of the writer deals Pope and Chernin signed in the early days of Chernin Entertainment are coming to fruition, including the pilot “Touch” from “Heroes” creator Tim Kring starring Kiefer Sutherland, which Fox picked up for a midseason run.
Despite the patience producing demands, it offers a closer relationship with the material, which self-professed bookworm and story nerd Pope says she prefers.
“Even the shows I was very involved with, whether I was at the network or at the studio, there was just a natural separation that had to occur,” she explains. “For this year, being our first real season, it’s just been incredibly rewarding to be day in and day out on the new shows we’re producing.”
Title: President of television, Chernin Entertainment
Role model: Peter Chernin. “He’s passionate, honest, driven — and always humble. And hilarious.”
Career mantra: “I just try to push myself to never say something is ‘good enough.’ “
Leisure pursuits: Pope brushes off the notion of having any time for leisure pursuits.
Philanthropic passions: “I think Girls Inc. is a very special organization.”