EXCLUSIVE: New Wave Entertainment has promoted Brian Volk-Weiss to President of Production. He will oversee production and development for New Wave New York and the firm’s digital departments, and also work with CEO Paul Apel to guide overall strategy at the production, marketing, and management company. Volk-Weiss most recently was Head of Production, and in the past year was executive producer on several TV series and pilots including VH1′s Stevie TV. He also serves as exec producer on New Wave slate of comedy specials; the company is producing more this year than ever before including from the likes of Jim Gaffigan, Aziz Ansari, Marc Maron and Mike Birbiglia.
EXCLUSIVE: Edwin Zane has joined New Wave Entertainment as VP Unscripted Development, where he will head up the reality division at the production/marketing/management company. The industry veteran, who previously worked at Triage Entertainment, LMNO Productions and Rive Gauche Television, will focus on developing new projects in the reality genre from game shows to documentary series for broadcast and cable. “[Zane] is an incredible asset and we look forward to everything he’s bringing to the table,” said Brian Volk-Weiss, New Wave’s Head of Production and SVP Talent Management.
Writers Vlas and Charley Parlapanides have signed with New Wave Entertainment for management. The brothers were with Principato Young; they continued to be agented by WME. They penned last year’s Antiquity blockbuster The Immortals for Relativity Media. The Parlapanideses also have The Centurion, a one-hour drama set up at CBS, with ABC Studios, Chris Morgan and Bob Sertner producing. The brothers join showrunner/director Tom Gianas and writer-director Josh Stolberg, who signed on with New Wave’s Lit Department late last year.
EXCLUSIVE: New Wave Entertainment has acquired P3 Entertainment, a Emmy-winning production company specializing in sports. With the acquisition of the New York-based production company, New Wave will be opening a new office in Midtown Manhattan, making it a bi-coastal production, marketing, and management company. “New Wave could not be more excited to be in New York city where comedy and sports is such a staple in the community,” New Wave’s Head of Production and SVP Talent Management Brian Volk-Weiss.
EXCLUSIVE: Jack Vaughn of Comedy Central Records has joined New Wave Entertainment as the Senior Vice President of Production and Distribution. In his new role, Vaughn will bring in and develop new comedy and other content, as well as manage the Dynamics content distribution division. He’ll report to Brian Volk-Weiss, Head of Production. Vaughn has over 20 years in the music business running large independent record labels. He comes to New Wave following a 10-year stint at Comedy Central where he oversaw all aspect of label operations from A&R and contract negotiation to production, marketing and distribution. New Wave Entertainment is currently producing season two of the sketch comedy series Stevie TV for VH1 and pilots for MTV, History Chanel, Adult Swim, and Bravo.
EXCLUSIVE: New Wave Entertainment is boosting its East Coast business by tapping Maureen Taran as VP Management and Production. There The 15-year talent, production and management veteran will run the company’s soon-to-open New York office and help cultivate a roster of new clientele and acquisitions. Taran helped launch the careers of comedians Dave Chappelle, Wanda Sykes and Tracy Morgan and held executive positions at Montreal’s Just For Laughs festival and Epix, and also was supervising producer of Showtime’s The Green Room With Paul Provenza. “A hire of this caliber clearly represents our commitment to servicing the East Coast talent and buyers that we do so much business with,” said Brian Volk-Weiss, New Wave’s Head of Production and SVP Talent Management and Dynamics.
Paul Reiser has completed an overhaul of his representation team. Three months after the veteran actor-comedian signed with ICM, he also has brought in a new management company, New Wave Entertainment. Reiser was with the Saftan Co. He most recently created, executive produced and starred in The Paul Reiser Show, which had a brief, low-rated run on NBC last midseason. Reiser, best known for co-creating/exec producing and starring in another NBC comedy series, the long-running Mad About You, also has written three books, most recently Familyhood, a follow-up to Couplehood and Babyhood.
EXCLUSIVE: Following his recent exit from New Wave Entertainment, veteran comedy talent manager Barry Katz is going solo again with the relaunch of Barry Katz Entertainment. All of Katz’s clients at New Wave will follow him to the new company including Jay Mohr, Christopher Titus, Bill Bellamy, Paul Rodriguez, Cheri Oteri, Nick DiPaolo and Faizon Love. Katz ran his original Barry Katz Entertainment for 15 years before selling it to New Wave at the end of 2003. Over the past eight years, he was involved in New Wave’s transformation into a full-service talent management, digital distribution, and production company with over 25 managers, producers, and development executives. The two sides parted ways last month when Katz’s contract was up. “After being a part of creating a different kind of management company — one that combined representation and production — I wanted to get back to focus less on the issues of a large company, and more on working with my clients in a more personal way to help them achieve their goals,” Katz said.
EXCLUSIVE: Eight years after Barry Katz sold his talent management company to New Wave Entertainment, the two are parting ways. Katz will leave New Wave at the end of the year when his contract is up after the company opted not to renew it. “It has been a great eight years having Barry on our team, as we have truly accomplished a lot together; however, the time is right for us both to move on,” New Wave CEO Paul Apel said. “We sincerely wish him continued success in his endeavors.”
Katz’s official title at New Wave was president of talent management, but he had mostly focused on his clients lately. Head of Production & SVP of Talent Management Brian Volk-Weiss, who has been leading New Wave’s Talent Management, Development and Production divisions, will continue to do so. Volk-Weiss was a longtime associate of Katz at Barry Katz Entertainment whom Katz brought in with him when New Wave acquired his 15-year-old company at the end of 2003.
During his tenure at New Wave, Katz produced several films — Employee Of The Month, Good Luck Chuck and My Best Friend’s Girl — all starring his former long-time client Dane Cook, who left New Wave in the spring. Katz’s top clients include Jay Mohr and Christopher Titus. In TV, Katz executive produces NBC’s freshman comedy Whitney. He previously executive produced ABC’s The Next Best Thing, NESN’S Comedy All-Stars, HBO’s Tourgasm, TBS’s Frank TV, and NBC’s Last Comic Standing. “I am very grateful and proud of what we accomplished together, and look forward to what the future will bring,” Katz said.
NBC has bought two more single-camera comedy projects: Life As I Blow It, from Chelsea Lately and After Lately writer-panelist Sarah Colonna, and Satellites, a workplace comedy from Weeds writer-producer Stephen Falk.
Life As I Blow It is based on Colonna’s upcoming book and follows Colonna and her life in the Midwest surrounded by eccentric friends and family whose opinions and actions know no boundaries. Happy Madison and Sony TV are producing along with Colonna’s management company New Wave Entertainment, Lunch Bag Snail Prods and Universal TV. Colonna will write the script and executive produce with Danielle Sanchez, who will supervise, Doug Robinson, Abbey MacDonald, Michael Pelmont and Brian Volk Weiss. APA-repped Colonna recently performed on the Comedians of Chelsea Lately tour.
EXCLUSIVE: VH1 has picked up a new half-hour weekly pop-culture show headlined by YouTube star Stevie Ryan. Stevie TV, which has received a 10-episode order for a 2012 launch, will feature comedian Ryan’s satirical take on the pop-culture events of the previous week, including reality show happenings and celebrity and politician blunders. Ryan is best known for her YouTube videos, which have garnered over 80 million hits. In them, she impersonates such top celebrities and reality stars as Kim Kardashian and Justin Bieber as well as VH1′s own Mob Wives and Audrina Patridge. Ryan created Stevie TV with Dan Levy and James Kirkland. Brian Volk-Weiss, Michael Pelmont, Dan Levy, Stevie Ryan and Darren Belitsky are executive producing for New Wave Entertainment; and Noah Pollack, Jill Holmes, Stacy Alexander and Jeff Olde for VH1.