Breakthrough, Dutch Features Board Kristofferson Pic ‘Joe’s Mountain’
Toronto-based Breakthrough Entertainment has joined with Dutch Features Global Entertainment to co-executive produce Joe’s Mountain, starring Kris Kristofferson. Dutch Features will team with Breakthrough to secure European distribution partners for the film to be directed by Chuck Rose, who also wrote the script. The producers say they are in discussions to cast Helen Hunt opposite Kristofferson, who plays a former ladies man who becomes a local celebrity when his dreams of future events start coming true. His powers are put to the test when he meets a younger woman and her dying son and embarks on a road trip to find a mysterious lake that will change their lives. Production will take place in Canada. Henry Boger produces.
A+E Networks Assumes Full Control of AETN All Asia Networks
A+E Networks has concluded a transaction with Astro Overseas Limited to assume full ownership of AETN All Asia Networks, the Singapore-based company formed as a joint venture in 2007. AETN All Asia Networks will be rebranded as A+E Networks Asia. “The transition to full ownership of A+E Networks Asia is a first for our company and marks an important milestone,” said A+E president and CEO Nancy Dubuc. The announcement comes on the heels of the recent launch of Lifetime and H2 in the region. A+E Networks Asia also operates History, Crime & Investigation Network and bio in the region. READ MORE »
Officially, Nancy Dubuc has been president and CEO of A+E Networks for two days, but she’s already putting her stamp on the company, setting top executives for each of the brands and launching an in-house studio. Under the plan, Bob DeBitetto, General Manager of A&E Networks and BIO, will transition to a new role of head of A+E Studios with a title of President, Brand Strategy, Business Development. He will be succeeded at the helm of A&E by his top lieutenant, David McKillop, EVP Programming, who is adding a general manger title. Dirk Hoogstra, who was promoted to EVP Development and Programming for History and H2 just three months ago, will now add the title of General Manager for the two channels. And as Dubuc moves away from day-to-day oversight of the networks to focus on her role as CEO, Lifetime’s EVP programming Robert Sharenow also is adding general manager responsibilities. Additionally, A+E Networks has officially tapped veteran BBC executive Jana Bennett to run LMN and Bio as president.
Related: BBC’s Jana Bennett To Run Bio And LMN Under Dubuc’s Plan
“These are the people who have led their teams to some of the biggest successes on television over the last two years, including Hatfields & McCoys, The Bible, Vikings, Duck Dynasty, Bates Motel, Storage Wars, Dance Moms, Client List and Steel Magnolias,” >Dubuc said. “I have had the honor to work with Bob, David, Rob and Dirk for a many years, and am thrilled that we are continuing this journey together. And I couldn’t be more excited that Jana is joining A+E Networks. She is an experienced industry veteran who knows how to build and grow brands and create long-running franchises.”
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Nancy Dubuc‘s meteoric rise continues. Seven months after she was named President, Entertainment and Media, A+E Networks, taking creative oversight of the entire cable group, Dubuc has now been named president and CEO of A+E Networks. She succeeds Abbe Raven, who is being elevated to Chairman, A+E Networks. The promotions come as A+E networks continue to deliver blockbuster ratings, most recently with History’s The Bible and Vikings and A&E’s Duck Dynasty.
Effective June 1, 2013, Dubuc will oversee the day-to-day operations of the company with the brand groups and business divisions reporting to her. Raven will be in charge of A+E Networks’ long-term business and revenue opportunities, as well as public policy initiatives, and serve as corporate strategic adviser. Raven will report directly to the company’s Board led by Anne Sweeney, president, Disney/ABC Television Group, and Steven Swartz, president & COO, Hearst Corp. Dubuc will report both to Raven and the Board. “Abbe and Nancy have enjoyed one of the most successful partnerships in our business. Together, over the last several years, they have built some of the strongest brands in media, Sweeney and Swartz said jointly. “We look forward to the company’s next chapter as Abbe becomes chairman and Nancy steps into her expanded new role as president and CEO and leads the company into the future”. Read More »
“The studios are not in brand conversations. It’s not a filmmaker’s medium anymore. We’re in the brand play business,” HBO Programming President Michael Lombardo said today during the Hollywood Radio And Television Society Cable Chiefs lunch in Beverly Hills. Brands and binge viewing were the primary topics of conversation among the panel that featured Lombardo, A+E Networks President, Entertainment and Media Nancy Dubuc and Turner Entertainment Networks president Steve Koonin. Ben Silverman was moderator. “You’re seeing a number of storytellers unable to work in the studio system”, Lombardo continued. “The paradigm has shifted; serious adult drama is happening on cable. That’s what people talk about on Monday — it’s the cable show they saw, not the movies anymore”. Said Dubuc, “We each have our own brand fulfillment and it is our jobs to not only manage that but to evolve it.”
Koonin cut to the chase: “Brands are the temple we worship at,” he quipped to laughter as he described the work and metrics that went into developing TNT’s “We Know Drama” tagline. “When you manage a brand you have to be consistent,” he said. “Basic cable has become an oxymoron now, there is nothing basic about it”. He added: We’ve changed our marketing strategy. We’re going to market from green light to finale, though I shouldn’t say that. We have to give people reason after reason after reason, I can go on and on, to get it,” Koonin said. Read More »
A+E Networks president of entertainment and media Nancy Dubuc appeared for a Media Mastermind Keynote this morning in Cannes. The recently promoted exec reflected on the evolution of History which has been scoring big wins including with recent mini Hatfields & McCoys. A few years back, she said, “We knew in our gut that History needed to be more than a timeline.” With surprisingly successful shows like Ice Road Truckers and Pawn Stars, Dubuc said, “I think the culture and DNA of our organization is to take risks.”
Dubuc qualified the controversial upcoming Lifetime movie Liz & Dick starring Lindsay Lohan as a risk, but said everyone was well aware ahead of time. “It was framed from the point of view of me informing everybody: ‘Here’s the situation, here are the risks I’m taking, so hold on.’”
The buzzy movie debuts on Thanksgiving weekend and Dubuc maintains that Lifetime needs to get even buzzier. “There’s no question, Lifetime must evolve. It’s a work in progress right now.” A series project from Renee Zellweger is on deck at the network, the saucy Jennifer Love Hewitt series The Client List is getting a second season and the Steel Magnolias reboot just debuted last night with a cast that includes Queen Latifah, Alfre Woodard and Phylicia Rashad. Dubuc joked that Zellweger, Latifah and Love Hewitt were “all in my will now.” On a more serious note, she sounded a challenge to the Hollywood community that laments the lack of female-driven projects, “You can’t go out and talk about it and not come,” to Lifetime, she said. Read More »
Nancy Dubuc‘s star continues to rise at A+E Networks. After adding Lifetime to her History purview following the female-centered network’s 2010 acquisition, Dubuc is now expanding even further her portfolio and will oversee all A+E Networks — including A&E Network and BIO. Her new title is President, Entertainment and Media, A+E Networks. Bob DeBitetto, President and General Manager of A&E Network and BIO, and EVPs Dan Suratt and Steve Ronson will now report to her. Once A+E Networks’ flagship network, A&E has been overtaken in the ratings by upstart History, which has been on an upswing, finishing last year as the fifth-most-watched basic cable network. Meanwhile, after some growing pains, Lifetime has started to move the ratings needle in a positive direction, up year-to-year in total viewers and all key demos. Here is the release: Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Lifetime’s head of development, EVP entertainment JoAnn Alfano, is leaving the female-centered cable network effective immediately. For the time being, Lifetime president and general manger Nancy Dubuc will oversee the network’s development, with SVP series programming Nina Lederman and … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Lifetime’s new president and general manager Nancy Dubuc is putting her stamp on the female-centered cable network with her first scripted series orders. Lifetime has picked up to series two female-driven cop dramas, Against the Wall and Exit 19, … Read More »
From Ray Richmond, who is contributing to Deadline Hollywood’s TCA Coverage:
Lifetime plans to double its on-air drama series output in 2011 from two to four, the network’s new president and GM Nancy Dubuc said this morning during the network’s portion of TCA. That includes the pickup to series of two of the network’s five pilots ordered last year (four of them have already been shot). Lifetime brass will make the decision on which two will go to series by February, the network’s EVP JoAnn Alfano said. The two new series will premiere by fourth quarter 2011, along with the returns of vets Army Wives and Drop Dead Diva. The network also is launching a dozen new unscripted series this year, with the rollout beginning in February, along with 15 original films. “We’re committed to expanding our original programming in a major way,” Alfano said. “This is only the beginning.” Here is a list of Lifetime’s upcoming reality series, Seriously Funny Kids, One Born Every Minute, Quad Squad and Glamour Belles, whose premiere dates were announced today: Read More »
Lifetime today picked up the first scripted pilot pickups since the regime change at the female-centered cable network. History’s Nancy Dubuc took the reins of Lifetime as president and has been reading piles of pilot scripts with an eye at jump … Read More »
Gena McCarthy has joined Lifetime as SVP reality & alternative programming. McCarthy will start on July 6, overseeing the development and production of unscripted series for the female-centered cable network and reporting to JoAnn Alfano, EVP entertainment. The top reality post at Lifetime has been vacant since the departure of Jessica Samet late last year. Lifetime has ventured into unscripted programming before, most notably with the acquisition of Project Runway under former CEO Andrea Wong. While scripted series will continue to be the focus, Lifetime’s reality portfolio is expected to grow under new president/GM Nancy Dubuc, who also runs the docu-driven History Channel. Read More »