(Burbank, CA) – Peter Roth, one of the most successful and respected television executives in the entertainment business, who has overseen the industry-leading television production operations of Warner Bros. for the past 21 years, has signed a contract extension that will make him the first-ever Chairman of the Warner Bros. Television Group. The announcement was made today by Ann Sarnoff, Chair and CEO, Warner Bros., to whom Roth will continue to report.
Roth, who has served as President and Chief Content Officer, Warner Bros. Television Group, since May 2013, will continue to maintain leadership and creative responsibility for Warner Bros.’ unrivaled television production activities, including domestic production of scripted, unscripted and alternative series for U.S. broadcast networks, cable, and streaming services.
Roth will also continue to work closely with Jeffrey R. Schlesinger, President, Warner Bros. Worldwide Television Distribution, who will continue to report to Sarnoff.
“Across the industry, Peter has the well-deserved reputation as a legend, and I have long been an admirer of his creative insight, deep relationships and unmatched passion for — and love of — all the people behind and in front of the camera, at the networks, and across the Studio who make Warner Bros. the most prolific TV producer in Hollywood,” said Sarnoff. “It’s fitting to recognize his many contributions to the company, and we’re grateful he will continue to lead our television production business as we expand our output to match the increased demand for programming by traditional and new outlets, including our own HBO Max.”
Roth and his team have led a strategic transformation of the Studio’s television operations, increasing the company’s series production output for premium and basic cable channels, and aggressively expanding into producing series for the on-demand/streaming marketplace, while maintaining its longstanding leadership position in supplying series to the broadcast networks. As of January 2020, the combined divisions of the Warner Bros. Television Group — including live-action scripted series, animation, and unscripted & alternative programs — are producing more than 115 series in the U.S. alone.
A magnet for attracting the very best in creative talent, Roth has been responsible for signing a number of landmark exclusive overall deals with key producers such as Chuck Lorre, Greg Berlanti, J.J. Abrams and Katie McGrath’s Bad Robot Productions, Ava DuVernay, John Wells, Damon Lindelof, Mindy Kaling, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Elizabeth Banks, Bruno Heller, Michael Patrick King, Steve Molaro, Nkechi Okoro Carroll, Bill Lawrence, Bryan Cranston, David Nutter, Rob Thomas, Matt Miller, and Robert Zemeckis, among others.
His acumen for developing and producing successful programming has brought Warner Bros. the distinction of being the most prolific studio in Hollywood during his tenure. He joined the company in March 1999 as President, Warner Bros. Television. During his more than two decades atop the Studio’s television production business, 32 scripted primetime series developed under his leadership have successfully reached the coveted 100-episode milestone. Among them: “The Big Bang Theory” (279 episodes, the longest-running multicamera comedy in the history of television), “Two and a Half Men,” “The West Wing,” “Gilmore Girls,” “Smallville,” “Gossip Girl,” “Nip/Tuck,” “Shameless,” “The Mentalist,” “Pretty Little Liars,” “Arrow,” “Mom,” “The Closer,” “Fringe,” “The Middle,” “George Lopez,” “The Flash,” “Mike & Molly,” “Person of Interest,” “Supernatural,” “Third Watch,” “The Vampire Diaries” and “One Tree Hill.”
Roth came to Warner Bros. Television after having served as President, FOX Entertainment, since September 1996. While there, he was responsible for the development and programming of the Emmy® Award–winning “Ally McBeal,” “That ’70s Show” and “Family Guy.” Prior to working at the network, he joined Twentieth Television Corp. in June 1992, when he was named President of Production at Twentieth Network Television (currently 20th Century Fox Television Productions) and where he oversaw the development and sales of “The X Files,” “Picket Fences,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “The Practice” and “King of the Hill.”
Prior to joining Twentieth Television Corp., Roth was President of Stephen J. Cannell Productions, where, during a six-year tenure, he was involved with the creation and sale of such critically acclaimed series as “21 Jump Street,” “Wiseguy” and “The Commish.”
He previously spent 10 years at the ABC Television Network, where he began his television career in 1976 as Manager of Children’s Programs. He was promoted that same year to Director and was responsible for ABC’s number one–rated Saturday morning schedule. In June 1979, he was named Director of Current Primetime Programs and was promoted to Vice President, Current Primetime Series, in November 1981, overseeing such classic shows as “Happy Days,” “Laverne & Shirley,” “Moonlighting” and “Dynasty.”
Roth currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Peabody Awards, the Los Angeles Board of Governors of The Paley Center for Media, and the Hall of Fame Selection Committee for the Television Academy.
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