Tom Fontana, who won a Humanitas Prize for his work on St. Elsewhere during that show’s run, has been elected president of Humanitas, the nonprofit that supports and rewards TV and film writers whose works “entertain, engage and enrich the viewing public.” The longtime TV and film producer succeeds John Wells, who steps down Friday, the day the organization holds its annual awards ceremony at the Montage Beverly Hills (see those nominees here). “Tom Fontana is a writer and producer who has not only had tremendous commercial and critical success, but whose work exemplifies the ideals of Humanitas,” said executive director Cathleen Young. “We are thrilled to see him step into the presidency and eagerly anticipate supporting him in his new role.” Meanwhile, previous Humanitas trustees Hart Hanson (Bones), Ali LeRoi (Everybody Hates Chris) and David Shore (House) have been added to the board of directors, joining Wells, John Sacret Young, Neal Baer, Marshall Herskovitz, Carol Mendelsohn and Ed Zwick.
Wells steps aside after serving as president in 2008. He was instrumental in the creation of Humanitas’ New Voices initiative, which pairs emerging writers with trustees to develop original TV pilots, helping to land script agreements with ABC, CBS, NBC Universal, 20th Century Fox, Fox 21, HBO, Sony and Lionsgate. Five pilots are currently being developed through the program.
EXCLUSIVE: Humanitas’ New Voices initiative, a program designed to help up-and-coming television writers break into the business, has had plenty of success since launching in November 2010, with five projects ordered to script at various studios. Now the organization … Read More »
Four-and-a-half months after it was announced, Humanitas’ New Voices initiatives for emerging TV writers has received its first four script orders from participating studios/networks. Back in November, 20th Century Fox TV, NBC Universal, CBS, ABC Studios, Lionsgate and HBO each made blind commitments to buy two scripts written by up-and-coming writers under the supervision of a Humatitas’ Trustee or Board member. Since then, FX has joined the group, bringing the total number of blind script commitments to 14.
And now, 20th TV, its cable division Fox 21, CBS TV Studios and ABC Studios has each ordered one pilot script, with a fifth script deal pending. 20th TV has bought a pilot script for Mambo Palace, a single-camera comedy by Luisa Leschin, with Humanitas Trustee Ali LeRoi, creator of Everybody Hates Chris, supervising. CBS Studios has ordered Neil Cohen’s single-camera script Judge School, which is being supervised by Trustee Gary David Goldberg. Fox 21 has ordered a pilot script for the one-hour drama Majestic from Will Pascoe with Trustee and Bones creator Hart Hanson supervising. ABC Studios ordered a script for Christian Trokey’s one-hour drama Map, Myth, Bone, with Trustee Marc Guggenheim (No Ordinary Family) supervising. Read More »