Harpo Films Prez Kate Forte Out As Harpo Shifts Attention From Films To Scripted TV

By | Monday February 11, 2013 @ 7:26pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Another long-time executive from Oprah Winfrey‘s inner circle is out. After a 18-year stint as president of Harpo Films, Kate Forte was let go today. While the company continues to have a couple of projects in development at HBO, where it has been under a deal since 2008, Harpo Films has little to show for its efforts in the past five years — its last projects to reach fruition were the 2007 movie The Great Debaters, one of only two features produced by the unit, and 2007 ABC telefilm Mitch Albom’s For One More Day. Harpo Films is a vestige of old times — it was active in the broadcast movie business, doing six films for ABC between 1997-2007. But the demand for long-form projects, especially on the broadcast side, has dried out. And now the Los Angeles-based Harpo Films will de facto fold. As part of a restructuring, its larger sibling production company, Chicago-based Harpo Studios, overseen by OWN presidents Erik Logan and Sheri Salata, is launching a scripted division, which is expected to absorb some of the staff of Harpo Films. Likely based in Los Angeles, its focus will be scripted series, an area that has been growing in recent years as more and more cable networks enter the field. That includes Harpo Studios’ main client, Winfrey’s OWN, which is venturing into scripted series with a comedy and drama from Tyler Perry set to debut later this year. Read More »

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UH-OH OPRAH! TV Stations Complaining About Her Over-Hype Of OWN/Discovery; Some Drop Shows Or Refuse To Pay Up

Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Did Oprah Winfrey go too far in promoting her new cable network OWN as well as sister Discovery Communications nets on her syndicated talk show? I hear broadcast stations … Read More »

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HBO And Harpo Plot Pulitzer Play ‘Ruined’ As Oprah Winfrey Star Turn

By | Tuesday December 7, 2010 @ 12:12pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Oprah Winfrey is in talks to star for HBO Films in Ruined, an adaptation of Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play. Ruined, which won an array of awards during its 2009 off-Broadway run, focuses on a brothel in war-torn Congo … Read More »

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Discovery Exec To Head Marketing For OWN

Nellie Andreeva

Another Discovery executive has been brought over to OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, Discovery Communications’ co-venture with Harpo. Maurizio Vitale has been named SVP marketing for the channel, slated to launch on January 1, 2011. He will oversee all on-air and off-air marketing and promotion, reporting to OWN CEO Christina Norman. … Read More »

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