January 16, 2014
Actress and comedian Wanda Sykes continues to bolster her producing resume. Sykes and her producing partner Page Hurwitz have signed a development deal with Nickelodeon, under which they will develop and produce a comedy for its nighttime mom-themed block NickMom, which airs on Nick Jr. Sykes is also set to produce a new season of “Last Comic Standing” on NBC, and she also produces a show on OWN.
A&E Networks has made two promotions, naming Thomas Moody senior vice president of programming, planning and acquisitions for LMN and the soon-to-launch FYI, and Laura Fleury vice president of programming and development for LMN. Moody was previously in charge of scheduling and acquisitions for A&E and Bio, while Fleury developed and produced shows for A&E.
Disney Channels U.S. has promoted Dana Green to vice president of communications, continuing to report to Disney ABC TV Group senior vice president of kids communications Patti McTeague. Green has been with Disney since 2006.
Actress Hilary Duff has joined TV Land’s comedy pilot “Younger,” joining Sutton Foster in the cast. Duff has most recently made guest appearances on “Two and a Half Men” and “Raising Hope.”
California agency Cord Media has made three hires, naming Dawn Elliott account executive, Larinda Curdes account coordinator and Bernardo Amavizca art director. Elliott joins from Spa Resort Casino, Curdes from Merrill Lynch and Amavizca from Augustine Casino.
Porter Huddleston has joined Brown Parker & DeMarinis Advertising, becoming digital creative director. Huddleston has previously held positions at Wieden + Kennedy and The Tyee Group.
Jim Rutenberg has moved to The New York Times Magazine as chief political correspondent, replacing the departed Matt Bai in the position. Rutenberg had been national political correspondent for The New York Times.
Christof Schminke has been named chief marketing officer at Auctionata, an online auction house. Schminke was previously head of offline and strategic marketing at Zalando.
Former “Monty Python” actor Michael Palin has joined the cast of “Remember Me,” a three-part supernatural miniseries from BBC. This will be Palin’s first dramatic lead role in 20 years; in recent years he’s become better known for travel documentaries.
Fox has added actor Benjamin Bratt to the cast of “24: Live Another Day,” its upcoming revival of “24.” Bratt will play a CIA commander charged with tracking down Jack Bauer (good luck with that).
Mark Cohen, former executive vice president at ABC Broadcast Group and vice president at Capital Cities/ABC, died on Dec. 31 at age 81. No cause has been given. Cohen was at ABC for 30 years, joining its clearance department in 1958 and leaving as executive vice president in 1988. He was also a former vice president of the International Radio and Television Society and president of the International Council of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
Actor Russell Johnson, who played Professor Roy Hinkley on the old sitcom “Gilligan’s Island,” died on Thursday of kidney failure at age 89. Johnson appeared in 98 of the show’s 99 episodes as The Professor, and he also appeared in a number of movie throughout his career, including “It Came From Outer Space.”
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