Nothing like having Hollywood pals, huh? Out of work MTV scripted boss David Janollari crashed and burned last fall. Now he’s been saved from the witness protection program thanks to a 3-year, first-look deal at Universal TV overseen by his former producing partner Bob Greenblatt. From 1996 to 2003, they did Six Feet Under, Elvis, American Family. Former ABC chief Stephen McPherson did the same thing, recently signing a deal with Fox reuniting him with 30-year good friend Kevin Reilly.
MTV is shaking up its top programming ranks for a second time in the last two years with the appointment of Susanne Daniels. Effective immediately, she replaces David Janollari. EVP Janollari, along with EVP MTV Production Chris Linn, were elevated two years ago to take take over the responsibilities of departing Tony DiSanto. Daniels is given DiSanto’s former title of president of programming vs. EVP for Janollari. She will oversee development and programming for the network, including scripted and reality series, news and documentaries, production and talent. She will be based in LA and report to MTV Music & Logo Group president Van Toffler and MTV president Stephen Friedman. Linn, who previously reported to Toffler and Friedman, will now report to Daniels, Toffler and Friedman.
MTV has renewed freshman teen comedy Awkward for a second season. The news comes on the heels of the series, created and executive produced by Lauren Iungerich, hitting a series high 2.0 rating in persons 12-34 last week, up a whopping 21% from the week before. “The show is really resonating with our young audiences,” said MTV programming head David Janollari. “What I like about the show is that it first and foremost is a comedy but it’s also not afraid to be honest and emotional. It’s all about the voice of Jenna that Lauren Iungerich so brilliantly created, and with Ashley Rickards, we have an immensely watchable TV star who gives Jenna all the depth and humor and pathos and sympathy we’re looking for in a TV star”. Awkward is less than a month into its first-season run, with seven more episodes left to air. Season 2 will debut in 2012. In addition to Awkward, Iungerich is also shepherding a comedy pilot for MTV, the recently picked up Dumb Girls. This is the second scripted MTV series to be renewed this summer, following the recent pickup of Teen Wolf for a second season. Meanwhile, Skins and The Hard Times Of RJ Berger have been canceled after one and two seasons, respectively.
Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
UPDATED: During the MTV Networks session at TCA, MTV EVP and programming head David Janollari announced that the network has renewed for a seventh season its reality series America’s Best Dance Crew, executive produced by American Idol judge Randy Jackson. The network also said it will bring back Fantasy Factory for a fifth season. And NBC’s comedy classic Friends is being picked up by Nick at Nite for nightly run beginning Sept. 6. It kicks off with a 10-hour marathon that night and runs weeknights at 10 thereafter.
After being feted at Comic-Con in San Diego last weekend, it was a smaller and less enthusiastic but equally supportive audience that met Mike Judge this afternoon for a panel promoting the new incarnation of his iconic toon Beavis and Butt-head to MTV beginning Oct. 21. Flanked by MTV Networks and Logo Group president Van Toffler, Judge demonstrated why he may be the most unassuming creator-producer in show business history. Typical was his response to a critic’s query about why he was bringing the series about the perpetually maturity-challenged nerds back now. “Well,” Judge began, “I like doing it. We’d talked about doing another (Beavis and Butt-head) movie over the years. But, you know, ‘King of the Hill’ was done, I thought we had a couple of pretty good characters here, maybe we should do this while we still could. I don’t know, it just felt right.”