Jane Leisner, svp of new boutique production company fox 21 has officially put her executive team in place for the Fox TV division. Brett Weitz joins as vp, development, with Shaleen Desai serving as director, development and Marci Wiseman is in as consultant, business affairs.
I couldnt be more excited about the executive talent weve lined up for this new venture, Leisner said. Brett distinguished himself at FOX for his aggressive style, great taste in material, and his ability to really get along with writers and producers. He made a big impression on me and I knew he would be a hugely valuable resource as we try to figure out a way to do television differently.
Weitz recently served at 20th Century Fox Television as director of drama development where he was instrumental in the creation and development of FBCs summer drama series NORTH SHORE. He joined 20th from Columbia Tristar Television where he helped to develop such new series as HACK and EVERWOOD. Prior to that, he worked at ATG on such shows as THE $TREET, THE WEBER SHOW and ELLEN.
Desai last worked as a comedy segment producer for the late night hit series LATE, LATE SHOW WITH CRAIG KILBORN, producing bi-weekly comedy segments for air and booking a variety of comics and guests on the program. He also served as manager of creative affairs for Worldwide Pants, working on the comedies produced under that banner from development to series order. He began his career in the FBC comedy department assisting with comedy development.
Shaleen is a great find; hes well-liked in the industry, ambitious and really enjoys being out and about scouting new talent. Hell be scouring comedy clubs, small theaters and showcases on the lookout for fresh, undiscovered voices, really being the eyes and ears of the company.
Wiseman has worked as an independent business affairs consultant for the past four years, with Fox, 20th Century Fox Television and NBC as clients, among others. Wiseman began her professional career at OMelveny & Myers, and later held business affairs positions at Columbia Pictures and Pressman Films. She worked as the asst. deputy mayor for economic development under Los Angeles Mayor Richard J. Riordan, leading the office in major public-private events and partnerships and the citys involvement in the revitalization of Hollywood & Highland. She also was president of Leeza Gibbons Enterprises where she was responsible for all development, production, business affairs as well as the strategic activities of the company, and she exec produced several pilots and series for MTV, Lifetime and E! Entertainment.
Marci is the kind of business affairs executive you want on your team, particularly when youre looking to innovate the traditional business models. Shes incredibly creative in her deal making and shes very tenacious. I am excited for us to work together to try to figure out new ways to structure deals that both reward our creators in success and keep costs low at start-up.
Leisner and fox 21 aim to deliver innovative programming to all the networks, while controlling the escalating costs of TV production by rethinking the economics of making shows. Meant to be a haven to creators, the division is devoted to helping writers realize their passion projects, and ideas that might be considered too personal or unconventional for other studios. Fox 21 already has secured major programming pledges from the Fox Broadcasting Co. and the FX cable network.