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Alcon Ent. taps Sharon Hall to head TV prod’n

Sony Pictures TV exec to lead shingle's expansion

Alcon Entertainment, best known for “The Blind Side,” is moving into TV production and has tapped Sony Pictures TV exec Sharon Hall to head the effort.

It’s formed Alcon Television to develop, finance and produce original programming and plans to retain domestic and international rights — as it does with its feature productions.

Alcon’s move, which has been in the works over the past four years, places a new player into the market — and the first indie TV company in several years to be financing its own slate outside the reality sector.

Alcon closed the deal with Hall on Friday come on board as president. She’s been at Sony since 2005 and was promoted to exec VP of drama development in 2009. During her tenure she helped develop such skeins as “Unforgettable” for CBS, “Pan Am” for ABC and “Necessary Roughness” for USA, “Damages” for the FX and the 101 Network, “Breaking Bad” for AMC, “Justified” for FX and “Drop Dead Diva” for Lifetime.

Alcon signaled in September that it was heading toward expanding beyond movie production and into TV when it launched Alcon Management Enterprises to invest in talent management through a controlling interest in literary talent management company Madhouse Entertainment.

Alcon Management Enterprises has been designed as a holding company for as many as six talent management companies Alcon intends to acquire. Alcon co-toppers Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson told Variety in September that the launch of the holding company opened the door for Alcon to begin moving into TV production.

Johnson said Friday it’s most likely that Alcon Television would probably focus first on developing one-hour dramas.

“We feel Alcon Entertainment is uniquely positioned to compete in today’s burgeoning television marketplace,” Kosove and Johnson said in a statement issued Friday. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Sharon, whose track record of overseeing both creatively and commercially successful shows, is very impressive.”

Johnson said that Alcon, which began operations in 1997, had considered making the move into TV around 2004 and 2005 but decided against doing so. “That was before cable had developed and before the proliferation of new buyers,” he added.

Johnson also noted that Alcon has already developed a significant number of feature properties that could be used as the basis for possible TV programming, though he didn’t identify any of those. Besides “The Blind Side,” Alcon’s films have included “Insomnia,” “My Dog Skip,” “Joyful Noise,” “Doplhin Tale,” “The Book of Eli,” “Racing Stripes,” “Something Borrowed” and the two “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” pics.

Prior to joining Sony, Hall was veep of programming for MTM Television, overseeing syndicated and children’s TV production, and VP of programming at BBDO Worldwide. She also directed multiple episodes of the AMC series “The Lot” and won a Peabody Award for the MTV-Fox special “Rock The Vote.”

Cynthia Littleton contributed to this report.

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