Lionsgate has seen the future, and it is scripted TV. To help steer the good ship LGTV into that future, the studio’s TV team is getting a new head of current programming in the form of former Warner Bros. veteran Chad Kennedy.
Kennedy will oversee current series, and report to Chris Selak, Lionsgate’s executive VP of TV, joining the current team of Andy Richley (senior VP, television), A.J. Morewitz (senior VP, development), and Marcello Bellisario (VP, talent and casting).
“The scripted team in our television group has consistently turned out high quality, award-winning series on every platform, including broadcast, cable, and streaming,” Selak said in a statement. “Chad’s experience working with critically acclaimed, fan-favorite series makes him the perfect fit for our existing team, which has done an incredible job of successfully shepherding all of Lionsgate’s series from conception to air.”
Lionsgate has ramped up its scripted TV production significantly in the last few years — in 2016-17 alone, it will have more than a dozen shows appearing somewhere on the air or online, including “Orange Is the New Black” (renewed through seven seasons on Netflix), Golden Globe-nominated dramedy “Casual” on Hulu, and the renewed-before-it-even-premiered “Greenleaf” on OWN. The studio managed to salvage a fifth season of “Nashville” after ABC cancelled the series in May, to run on CMT. (Episodes will be available day-after on Hulu.)
Other upcoming shows at Lionsgate TV include “Dear White People” for Netflix, a series based on the “Step Up” film franchise for YouTube Red, and limited series “Manifesto” — about hunting down the Unabomber — for Discovery. It is also the studio behind “Graves,” the first scripted series for Epix.
Though Lionsgate has shown a penchant for selling to internet players, its recent purchase of premium cable network Starz (for $4.4 billion) also means the studio now has a ready-made linear TV buyer for its wares.