John Wells Productions has turned to a 10-year company vet to lead its television operations.
Jinny Howe has been promoted to exec VP and head of television for the Warner Bros.-based banner. She fills the vacancy left last month by Andrew Stearn, the longtime president of TV for JWP who joined Working Title Films.
Howe joined the company in 2005 and in recent years took on more responsibility for TV development and production of current series including the Showtime series “Shameless.” She also worked with Wells as an associate producer on his 2011 directorial debut, “The Company Men.”
“Over the past five years, (Howe) has proven herself to be an exceptionally talented executive with excellent relationships within the creative community,” Wells said. “Jinny’s contributions to ‘Shameless’ and to our growing development slate have been central to the company’s continuing success. I look forward to our working together for many years to come.”
Howe previously served as senior VP of television. Before joining JWP, she worked in the talent department of Brillstein Entertainment.
Howe told Variety that among her priorities is ensuring that the company reaches out to female talent at all levels, from creatives to executives. With Howe’s ascent to exec VP, she has promoted Kristin Martini to director of television, to serve as her lieutenant in development and production.
“Something I’ve spoken with John about is making it a priority to get diverse female voices in the mix here,” Howe said. “We really want to help cultivate the emerging voices out there.”
JWP at present is working on a drama pilot for TNT, “Animal Kingdom,” a family crime drama based on the 2010 Australian feature; and a comedy for TV Land with “30 Rock” alum John Riggi based on the life of Kyle Richards of “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” fame.
Howe said the company is focused on fielding projects for all platforms. That includes broadcast TV where Wells made his mark as the uber-showrunner of such series as “ER,” “The West Wing,” “China Beach” and “Third Watch.”
“We’re really excited about pushing forward,” Howe said. “There are so many places to sell television. It’s not a priority for us where we set up the projects as long as what we’re doing is consistent with our brand and is character-driven.”