EXCLUSIVE: Harvey and Bob Weinstein are plotting a big re-entry into television and are talking to an old pal, producer Meryl Poster, to run the new Weinstein Co. TV arm. Poster worked with the Weinsteins for 16 years at their previous company, Miramax Films, including seven as co-president of production, until departing in 2005 just as the brothers too were leaving to launch the Weinstein Co. Since 2005, Poster has been under a first-look deal at NBC Universal for film and TV. She left Miramax on very good terms and stayed in touch with the Weinsteins (the three even put a movie in development together a couple of years ago). Through the years, Harvey and Bob Weinstein had pursued Poster on and off for different positions. With Poster’s NBCU deal coming up on Feb. 1, talks intensified and focused on building a TV arm at the Weinstein Co., a prospect Poster reportedly found appealing. Poster’s potential new gig won’t interfere with her commitment as a producer on Universal’s film adaptation of the Broadway musical In the Heights. The project, the first feature Poster set up under her NBCU deal, is now awaiting green light.
Under Bob and Harvey Weinstein, Miramax launched Miramax TV, which produced such series as reality powerhouse Project Runway (now produced by the Weinstein Co.), its predecessor, Project Greenlight, drama Glory Days and animated comedy Clerks. In addition to Project Runway, now on Lifetime, the Weinstein Co. is also behind Lifetime’s spinoff Models of the Runway, another spinoff in the works centered on accessories as well as the WE series Bridezillas. The Weinstein Co. is one of several film production companies that are entering TV in a big way, along with Legendary Pictures, which just hired AMC executive Jeremy Elice and is in talks with Warner Bros. TV about a TV deal, and New Regency, which yesterday signaled it is planning a re-entry into TV 4 years after Regency TV shut down in 2007.
During her tenure at Miramax, Poster executive produced such movies as Chicago, Chocolat, The Cider House Rules, Cop Land, The Shipping News and Kate & Leopold. As a studio exec there, she oversaw Finding Neverland, Good Will Hunting, Shakespeare in Love and Little Voice, among others. Poster also appeared on Miramax’s first reality series, Project Greenlight.