Development exec and producer Jennifer Gwartz has been tapped to become 20th Century Fox Television’s executive vice president of development, comedy and drama.
At the Disney-owned studio, she will oversee scripted development of live-action comedies and dramas, identifying writing talent, guiding ideas from pitch to pilot, overseeing teams of execs in comedy development and drama development, and leading live-action scripted strategy.
“Jen is a smart, thoughtful leader and a champion of ideas and talent, which makes her the perfect person to lead our development,” said 20th’s president of creative affairs Carolyn Cassidy, to whom Gwartz will report. “I also value her ability to look at the process and possibilities of television from multiple perspectives as a result of her background as a studio executive and hands on producer. I know she will be an extraordinary asset as we seek to create quality television and bring both new and accomplished voices, properties and ideas to 20th.”
Most recently, Gwartz and Jon Harmon Feldman’s Random Hill Productions had been working through an overall deal with ABC Studios, executive producing ABC pilot “Triangle” and other projects. For six years, she served as head of television and chief operating officer for Warner Bros. TV’s Dan Lin Pictures Television, where she produced six cable and broadcast pilots, plus ABC’s “Forever,” The CW’s “Frequency” and Fox’s “Lethal Weapon” (the latter of which she exec produced for three seasons). Gwartz has also spent time as a drama development exec at ABC Entertainment and Columbia TriStar Television, and was president of Joel Silver’s television division at Warner Bros., where she developed and exec produced the “Veronica Mars,” “Prodigy” and “The Studio” pilots. She also exec produced the “Veronica Mars” series, as well as the pilot for “90210,” “Cupid” and “Party Down.”
Gwartz also has experience in film, having served as an executive at Silver Pictures, where her work encompassed “Demolition Man,” “Conspiracy Theory” and “The Hudsucker Proxy,” and at Cary Woods’ Miramax-based production company, where she developed “Scream,” “Kids,” “Copland,” “Swingers” and “Beautiful Girls.”
“I’ve long admired 20th’s leadership in providing a home to some of the most extraordinary talent in our business,” said Gwartz. “After many years as a producer, I’m honored to join Carolyn and her team and to help continue to make 20th a go-to destination for noisy, exciting and innovative artists and storytellers.”