EXCLUSIVE: Almost five years after he joined Fox as SVP of late-night, Todd Yasui is leaving the executive ranks to return to producing. He has boarded the network’s midseason sketch comedy from Jamie Foxx as executive producer/showrunner. The series, tentatively titled The Jamie Foxx Project, was recently picked up by Fox with a 12-episode order. On the series, from Fox TV Studio, Foxx/King Entertainment and The Tannenbaum Co., Yasui will serve as an executive producer alongside Foxx, Marcus King and Jaime Rucker King, Eric Tannenbaum and Kim Tannenbaum. Carl Jones is writing/co-executive producing, while Affion Crockett is starring and producing.
During Yasui’s tenure at Fox, the network launched two late-night talk shows on Saturday, Talkshow with Spike Feresten and The Wanda Sykes Show. But with those 2 as well as MadTV gone, the network has no original programming in the Saturday 10-11:30 PM time period, which is filled by scripted repeats this fall until Fox brass reevaluate its late-night strategy. Additionally, Fox has no immediate plans for a daily late-night talk show franchise after exploring a Conan O’Brien talker in the spring. Before joining Fox in 2005, Yasui served as executive producer of CBS’ Late, Late Show With Craig Ferguson and its predecessor, Late, Late Show With Craig Kilborn, since 2000. Before that, he held senior production posts on the syndicated late-night talkers The Keenen Ivory Wayans Show and Magic Hour. A former journalist, Yasui got his start in TV as a segment producer for NBC’s The Tonight Show With Jay Leno.