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Warren Leight To Run ‘Law & Order: SVU’

Nellie Andreeva

Warren Leight is returning to the Law & Order franchise as executive producer and showrunner of NBC’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Leight is finalizing a deal to succeed Neal Baer, who, after 11 year at the helm of SVU, is leaving the crime drama at the end of the season to segue into a rich three-year overall deal with CBS TV Studios. With an experienced showrunner like Leight in place, NBC and Dick Wolf have solved one of the two issues SVU faces in its quest for a 13th season. The other is re-signing stars Mariska Hargitay and Chris Meloni, whose deals are up at the end of the season. The two have just started talks with the network, with the pace of the negotiations expected to pick up during the next couple of weeks. Read More »

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Fox Developing Medical Drama From Writer Warren Leight And Chernin Entertainment

By | Monday January 3, 2011 @ 11:27am PST
Nellie Andreeva

Warren Leight, a screenwriter and Tony-winning playwright, found himself a hot new career in TV as a sought-after showrunner with back-to-back gigs on USA’s Law & Order: Criminal Intent, HBO’s In Treatment and FX’s Lights Out. Now Leight is venturing in series development with his own project, a drama for Fox set in the area of medical ethics, which he is writing and executive producing. Serving as consulting producers are Lori Andrews, a law professor and leading expert on the legal and ethical aspects of biotechnologies and genetics who has written more than dozen non-fiction books as well as several mystery novels, and movie producer and autism activist Jon Shestack (Air Force One) who, along with his wife, founded Cure Autism Now. (Shestack also has been a member of task forces on issues of ethics, genetic research and gene patenting.) The project is being produced by 20th TV and studio-based Chernin Entertainment, with Peter Chernin and Kathrine Pope also exec producing. WME-repped Leight joined the staff of CI in its 2nd season on a tip from Theresa Rebeck to then executive producer Rene Balcer, who subsequently recommended Leight to take over as the show’s executive producer and head writer in 2006. Leight departed CI in 2008 to take the reins of In Treatment. He left the HBO therapy series last year to join FX’s boxing drama Lights Out, on which he retooled the original pilot by … Read More »

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Leight Leaves ‘Criminal Intent’ For HBO

Within days of USA Network renewing Law & Order: Criminal Intent with an order for 16 episodes, the series has just lost its showrunner. I’m told Warren Leight has left to be the showrunner of HBO’s In Treatment. It’s a big blow to Bonnie Hammer, promoted two months ago to head the newly created NBCU Cable Entertainment & Cable Studio. The former USA Network/Sci Fi Channel boss had been in the midst of hammering out a new deal with Leight, under whose leadership CI was the top drama series in basic cable primetime for the fourth quarter, more than doubling USA’s audience in the 10 p.m. Thursday slot from the same period the previous year. The first-run CI segments last fall averaged about 4.1 million viewers and about 2 million adults 18-49. By contrast, HBO’s In Treatment has struggled to find an audience since its January 28th premiere bombed with only 446,000 viewers. To drum up interest in the first time an HBO series has been stripped Monday-Friday, the pay channel has been putting full and free episodes on the Internet. So Leight will face quite an uphill battle. The Tony Award-winning playwright, screenwriter, and film director joined the staff of CI in its 2nd season on a tip from Theresa Rebeck to then executive producer Rene Balcer, who subsequently recommended Leight to takeover as the show’s executive producer and head writer in 2006 when Balcer left at the end … Read More »

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