Warner Bros. Television launched a probe after a writers’ room revolt over how the CBS legal drama dealt with issues of race and gender.
Warner Bros. Television has become the second major TV studios to push the production return date for the series that had been slated to resume filming in Los Angeles next week. It joins CBS Studios, with other studios and streamers expected to follow. All American, Bob ❤️ Abishola, B Positive, Call Me Kat, Mom, Shameless, and You, which had been scheduled to return from the holiday break the week of Jan. 4 will all prolong their production hiatus.
Scott Rowe is leaving Warner Bros. Television after 27 years, most recently as SVP, Communications & Domestic Marketing, for Warner Bros. Worldwide Television Marketing. He is one of a number of longtime Warner Bros. executives departing the company as WarnerMedia is cutting down its workforce via layoffs and buyouts. (Rowe is believed to have taken a buyout.)
As part of the ongoing WarnerMedia restructuring, Warner Bros. Television Group Chairman Peter Roth is consolidating the studio’s scripted and unscripted television production operations. On the scripted side, Warner Bros. Television and cable/streaming unit Warner Horizon Scripted TV are being consolidated into a new scripted division led by Warner Bros. Television Presidents Susan Rovner and Brett Paul. They will continue overseeing all scripted programming, reporting to Roth. Clancy Collins White has been elevated to a newly created position and will now have day-to-day oversight of all scripted program development for the new Warner Bros. Television, reporting to Rovner.
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The Ellen DeGeneres Show has become the subject of an internal investigation by WarnerMedia following numerous accounts of workplace problems on the long-running daytime series, Variety has learned. Executives from show producer Telepictures and distributor Warner Bros. Television sent a memo to staffers last week saying they have engaged WBTV-owner WarnerMedia’s employee relations group and a third party firm, who will interview current and former staffers about their experiences on set, said sources.
Longtime television executives Susan Rovner and Brett Paul have been tapped to become presidents of Warner Bros. Television, ascending from their most recent roles as executive vice presidents of the studio.
Warner Bros. TV executive Craig Hunegs will exit his role at the end of the year, capping a more than 20-year-career at the studio. Most recently president of business and strategy at Warner Bros. TV Group and president of Warner Bros. Digital Networks, Hunegs managed all of the studio’s television production and oversaw its portfolio of digital brands.
After a social media-driven frenzy, Netflix has confirmed that Friends will remain on the service throughout 2019, putting an end to fears the hit comedy from Warner Bros. TV would be leaving as of Jan. 1.
The end of the road for CBS’s The Big Bang Theory is coming into closer focus. The nerdy series ranks as TV’s most watched comedy among the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demographic and was renewed in March for its 11th and 12th seasons (48 episodes in total). “We never really figured to be at year 11, let alone what’s going to happen after 12. One could easily presume that would be the end of the series, but I’m just amazed we’re here,” co-creator Chuck Lorre said Tuesday.
Mere weeks after exiting Fox, the veteran reality TV executive is heading to Warner Bros. Television, where he will be president of unscripted and alternative programming. The move puts Darnell in charge of the reality genre for the studio’s Telepictures division as well as Warner Horizon, which produces American Idol rival The Voice. When Darnell begins his new job Aug. 12, he will report to Warner Bros. TV President Peter Roth.
Plans to get the word out about the new Telepictures talker include the largest Warner Bros. digital media campaign ever for a syndicated talk show, including geo-targeting, as well as investments in national cable.
Warner Bros. Television leads the pack with 12 series orders, followed by 20th Television (11) — the season’s biggest gainer — and ABC Studios and CBS Television Studios with nine each.
Warner Bros.’ television operations are in for a major management overhaul as longtime TV group topper Bruce Rosenblum is poised to exit the studio he has called home for more than 20 years.
Charlie Sheen will receive $25 million in his settlement with Warner Bros. Television and Chuck Lorre, according to a person familiar with the settlement. Warner Bros. announced the settlement Monday of Sheen’s lawsuit, in which he sought $100 million over his firing from Two and a Half Men. The person familiar with the settlement said the $25 million would cover back-end payments for Sheen’s appearances on the show.
The Warner lot is Hollywood’s most prolific TV factory, cranking out dozens of shows a year. This collection of 30 soundstages on 112 acres is the epicenter of Warner Bros. Television Group, the largest TV supplier in the U.S. by a wide margin, and a robust exporter of television all over the world. Currently, it produces 56 shows for American television, 26 of which will be on the broadcast networks this fall.
Sources report that Richard Neal has been chosen to oversee the fight between Sheen, Warner Bros. and Two and a Half Men co-creator Chuck Lorre over Sheen’s firing from the hit CBS show.
Although the eight-year-old show is aging and revolved around Charlie Sheen’s playboy character Charlie Harper, Warner Bros. Television and CBS have every incentive to try to keep it going after producers fired him on Monday. The show, for one, is a huge moneymaker: It is the most popular comedy on the air, and in syndication. But the more important question might be whether viewers will buy a remade show next fall.
Charlie Sheen might have tiger blood and Adonis DNA, but it’s far from clear whether the Two and a Half Men star would prevail in what seems like an inevitable legal showdown with CBS and Warner Bros. Television over who is to blame for the implosion of America’s most-watched sitcom. Many showbiz legal experts say they think he has a decent case, especially if reports are true that his deal with WBTV includes no morals clause.
In a one-sentence joint statement Thursday evening, the companies said they were ending production on television’s No. 1 sitcom for the season, a decision based on the “totality of Charlie Sheen’s statements, conduct and condition.” The move came following violence-tinged and anti-Semitic radio rant and letter from the troubled actor. The production halt leaves CBS eight episodes shy of the 24 half-hours it had expected to air.