(October 3, 2005 - Burbank, CA) ─ In an innovative new approach to program development, The WB Network will blend its comedy and alternative programming departments into one entity, Comedy and Alternative Programming Development, it was announced today by David Janollari, The WB’s president, entertainment. The new department will be helmed by two WB development veterans, Tracey Pakosta, executive vice president, comedy and alternative, and Keith Cox, executive vice president, comedy and alternative. Director of comedy development Tal Rabinowitz, along with Eliot Goldberg, vice president, alternative programming, and Jennifer Levi, director, alternative programming, will also be part of the realigned unit. Rabinowitz, Goldberg and Levi will report to both Cox and Pakosta. “As we’ve seen first hand with `Beauty and the Geek’ and elsewhere on the TV landscape, there’s a fine line between comedy and reality programming, and melding these two departments will create more opportunity for us to find big, funny hit shows, whether they’re scripted or not,” said Mr. Janollari. “Tracey and Keith are two of the best executives in town, proven leaders with great taste and credibility in the creative community, and this is an out-of-the-box way to make our network—and development process—more agile, flexible and successful. Along with Tal Rabinowitz, Eliot Goldberg and Jennifer Levi, integral members of our development group, we believe both comedy and alternative development will benefit and flourish.” Pakosta has been with The WB since 1995 when she began as an assistant to Susanne Daniels, president, entertainment. She worked her way through the comedy department before becoming co-executive president, comedy development in 2003. She was instrumental in the development of the network’s highest-rated comedy, “Reba,” as well as “What I Like About You,” “Living with Fran” and “Blue Collar TV.” Pakosta also spearheaded development for the new Mutchnick-Kohan comedy, “Twins,” as well as upcoming midseason offerings “Modern Men” and “Misconceptions.” Cox joined the network in 2001 and, as head of the alternative programming department, bought and developed the hit reality shows “Beauty and the Geek” and “The Surreal Life.” Prior to that he spent three years with The Greenblatt Janollari Studio as senior vice president, creative affairs, where he was part of the team that developed the acclaimed drama “Six Feet Under,” the hit comedies “One on One,” “The Hughleys” and the cult pilot “Heat, Vision and Jack,” starring Jack Black. He began his career as director of programming as part of the team that launched the FX network before a lengthy stint as director of comedy development at Warner Bros. Television, where he developed several shows for NBC’s powerhouse Thursday night line-up with Bright-Kauffman-Crane, as well as “The Jamie Foxx Show” and “Baby Blues” for The WB.
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