EXCLUSIVE: After testing the TV waters last season, feature producer Dan Lin is putting down small-screen roots, forming a television division of his company Lin Pictures and signing an overall deal with Warner Bros Television. Veteran TV development executive/producer Jennifer Gwartz has been tapped to run the new division, which is looking to develop drama and comedy projects with aspirational, uplifting stories that are often associated with Lin-produced features. Additionally, Gwartz, who also has feature background having worked on such movies as Scream, Copland, Lethal Weapon 4 and The Matrix, will work closely Lin’s feature development team.
Last season was Lin’s first in television. Through a first-look deal with Warner Bros TV, an extension to his his Warner Bros production deal on the feature side, he sold three projects: Poe, written by Chris Hollier, and Teach, written by Rina Mimoun, to ABC; and Mavericks, written by Gary Scott Thompson, to Fox. One of them, Poe, went to pilot. Gwartz is probably best known for her frequent collaborations with writer-producer Rob Thomas, most recently serving as executive producer on his Fox/WBTV comedy pilot Little In Common, which continues to be in strong contention for a midseason pickup. She previously served as executive producer/co-executive producer on Thomas’ series Party Down, Cupid and Veronica Mars. Gwartz helped developed Veronica Mars while she and Danielle Stokdyk headed up the TV division of Joel Silver’s company, which also is based at WBTV. Gwartz and Stokdyk, who began working together in 1999, co-running Columbia TriStar TV’s drama department, also did a stint as a producing duo based at Universal TV. Gwartz, who started her TV career in 1998 as an executive in ABC’s drama department, recently served as SVP scripted development at Vin Di Bona and Bruce Gersh’s FishBowl. Since his company’s inception in 2008, Lin has produced films that have grossed over $975M worldwide. WME-repped Lin is currently in post-production on Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and in pre-production on The Gangster Squad. His slate of films in development include The Lego Movie, directed by Christopher Miller and Phil Lord; Yucatan, starring Robert Downey Jr; and Moses.