EXCLUSIVE: Fox‘s SVP Marcus Wiley, who has been co-heading the network’s comedy department with Suzanna Makkos, is stepping down to segue to producing. Wiley is finalizing a multi-year, first-look development deal with the network, and is expected to transition into the new role by the end of the month. Makkos will now run the department solo. Wiley, whose contract was up, has been at Fox for the past five and a half years after originally starting at the network in 1999 as an assistant to David Nevins. He is known in the industry for his temper and passion for talent. (He was involved in a heated argument at the network earlier this year that has drawn a lot of attention.)
Before re-joining Fox in 2008, Wiley was a literary and packaging agent at the William Morris Agency for five years and covered Fox. “I felt the network’s comedy brand was in need of being invigorated,” he said. Along with his partner for the past several years, Makkos, Wiley shepherded such recent additions to Fox’s comedy lineup as Raising Hope, New Girl, The Mindy Project and Bob’s Burgers as well as the network’s five upcoming half-hour series. But after recently turning 40, Wiley started pondering what his end game would be. “I came back to Fox to learn the mentality on a high level and take that into being a producer,” Wiley said. He praised Fox’s entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly for “redefining the network business” with initiatives like the new animated comedy block Animation Domination High-Def. Through his yet unnamed production company, Wiley plans to focus on live-action and animated comedy projects and also expand into drama.
Prior to joining WMA in 2003, Wiley was a development executive at Regency Television where he worked on such series as Malcolm In The Middle and The Bernie Mac Show. He started his show business career in 1998 as a production assistant at Carsey Werner.