EXCLUSIVE: Longtime Fox 2000 EVP Carla Hacken is leaving the studio to become president of production for New Regency. It is the latest move in a restructuring of the company since Arnon Milchan reemerged as an active chairman and installed former Paramount Pictures production president Brad Weston as CEO with a mandate to become a more filmmaker-driven concern.
New Regency is partly owned by News Corp, whose 20th Century Fox distributes and often co-finances Regency-generated films. The move was orchestrated with the cooperation of Fox Filmed Entertainment co-chairmen Jim Gianopulos and Tom Rothman and Fox 2000 president Elizabeth Gabler.
“Jim, Tom and Liz have been great partners and are incredibly gracious about Carla,” Weston told me in confirming the move. “They see this as a terrific opportunity for her, and a great way to help support New Regency. Arnon and I couldn’t be more appreciative.”
Hacken was an ICM agent when she was brought into the Fox 2000 fold 15 years ago by Laura Ziskin. She has worked closely with Gabler and developed such films as Unfaithful, The Devil Wears Prada, Walk The Line, Bride Wars, Diary of a Wimpy Kid and its sequel, Percy Jackson & The Olympians, Love & Other Drugs and In Her Shoes.
There has long been a tradition of cross pollination between Fox and New Regency (which is based on the lot). That includes Sanford Panitch (who moved from Fox to Regency and now steers Fox International Productions) … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Hours after Deadline revealed the impending exit of New Regency chairmen Bob Harper and Hutch Parker, I’m told that former Paramount Pictures production president Brad Weston is in deep negotiations to run the production/financing company as president/CEO. That is a position similar to the one held by Sanford Panitch before he left to run Fox International Productions. The chairman post that will be vacated by Harper and Parker will be filled by majority owner Arnon Milchan, who is really planning to roll up his sleeves and become way more involved than he has been in the past few years.
Weston is an experienced production executive who, before Paramount, ran Dimension Films with Andrew Rona, (who after starting the Rogue genre label for Universal is currently running Joel Silver’s company at Warner Bros). The big question is whether Milchan will be willing to put ain the time and the daily grind that is necessary to run a major production/financing company like New Regency, where Harper and Parker oversaw everything from production to marketing, distribution and the library. Rupert Murdoch tried a hands on approach years ago after Barry Diller left, but it is a tough thing to sustain when there are other businesses to run. Of course, Milchan owns 80% of New Regency (Fox is a part owner of the company), so he has the right to run things if … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: A major shake up is taking place at Arnon Milchan’s New Regency. Co-chairmen Bob Harper and Hutch Parker will not renew their contracts when they expire in December. I’ve confirmed with Harper that he and Parker are negotiating their exits. There had recently been a ripple of rumors about this, and there will be the inevitable speculation over whether the duo are jumping before being pushed. Harper didn’t get into that, but said that he was confirming because he and Parker were aware of the rumors and were most concerned with reassuring filmmakers with Regency projects that the duo would continue to be closely involved and see those films through to release. Harper also said the decision came after months of conversations with Milchan over whether or not to renew. Recently, they came to the conclusion that this was the best course. Milchan could conceivably name a replacement quickly, but Harper told me that he and Parker will continue to see through the completed films as well as some of the projects that are gearing up for production starts, regardless of how quickly the succession takes place.
Harper had been in the job for four years (he moved from the post of vice chairman of Fox Filmed Entertainment and has worked for Fox since 1986), and Parker had been in the post for more than three years (he moved over from the post of 20th Century Fox vice chairman, and had been with the studio 13 years when he took the job). They have been involved in every facet of New Regency films, including production, marketing, distribution and administering the library. Harper said it is unclear what will happen next year, and that he and Harper haven’t solidified their plans. I wouldn’t be surprised if they remain on the Fox lot as producers or in some other capacity. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Regency Television, the boutique TV production company that produced Roswell, Malcolm In the Middle and Bernie Mac, is poised for a comeback. I hear former ABC Studios executive-turned-producer Morgan Wandell has emerged as the frontrunner to run the resurrected production company. The original Regency TV launched in 1998 as a 50-50 joint venture between Regency Enterprises and Fox TV Studios and existed for 10 years until the partners shut it down in July 2008.
Hutch Parker and Bob Harper, toppers of Regency Enterprises’ film division New Regency, hinted about the company’s plans to explore a return to television at the January announcement of the renewal of New Regency’s distribution deal with Fox. “We can see an opportunity for a restructured approach,” Parker said back then. Indeed, I hear that Regency TV 2.0 would operate under a new business model. For starters, the new incarnation of the company won’t be a co-venture with Fox TV Studios but a Regency-owned independent TV production company. But more importantly, unlike the original company, which deficit financed its series, I hear the new Regency TV won’t. I hear the company would emulate DreamWorks TV’s model instead, in which the production company develops projects independently but doesn’t deficit them, instead taking in producing fees. Despite Regency’s close ties with Fox (News Corp. also owns 20% of New Regency), I hear Regency TV won’t be affiliated with News Corp’s TV divisions 20th Century Fox TV or Fox TV Studios, through it is possibly for 20th TV to have some distribution responsibilities. Read More »
The crowd on the picket line at The Biggest Loser ranch is expected to be significantly larger tomorrow after the LA County AFL-CIO affiliate today endorsed the IATSE-led strike by the reality series’ crew and vowed to send picketers from some of the 350 unions and more than 800,000 unions it represents. There won’t be much to picket though as Biggest Loser is not scheduled to be filming on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the show’s AFTRA-represented talent, trainers Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper and host Alison Sweeney are yet to cross the picket line despite having no-strike clauses in their contracts. What’s more, the three are auctioning off a training session (Michaels/Harper) and a lunch date (Sweeney) on Ebay to support the relief fund established for the striking crew.
NBC’s The Biggest Loser completed its first day of filming while picketed by some 50 striking crew members. The show’s two trainers, Jilian Michaels, who had said she won’t cross the picket line, and Bob Harper, were not scheduled to work, so they didn’t show up at The Biggest Loser Ranch where the reality series is filmed. Among those who did show up and crossed the picket line were executive producers J.D. Roth and Todd Nelson, founders/CEO’s of 3 Ball Prods. (see photo by Jim Stevenson below). Meanwhile, the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, will hold a meeting tomorrow to sanction the IATSE-led strike by the crew of The Biggest Loser. A press event is scheduled for 11:15 AM. “The producers of this show want to make their own workers ‘the biggest losers’ and the labor movement in LA is not going to let that happen,” AFL-CIO’s Maria Elena Durazo said in a statement.