EXCLUSIVE: This is fitting — with Tracey Pakosta moving to NBC to become head of comedy, Universal TV has brought in Mike Clements, who a decade ago co-ran with her the WB comedy department, to succeed her atop the studio’s comedy development. He will get the same title as Pakosta, EVP Comedy Development, reporting to newly minted Universal TV president Bela Bajaria. Also joining Uni TV as SVP Comedy Development is Jim Donnelly. He will report to Clements. Rounding out Uni TV’s comedy team is VP Dan Shear, who came on board last year.
This marks Clements’ return to the executive ranks. After a 14-year stint as a network comedy exec in the early days of Fox and the WB — where he worked on such series as Married With Children, The Simpsons, Mad TV, King Of The Hill, That ’70s Show, Malcolm In The Middle, The Jamie Kennedy Experiment and Reba — Clements switched to producing in 2006. He first served as president of Tom Werner’s Warner Bros. TV-based Good Humor Television where he executive produced The Life & Times Of Tim for HBO, Good Vibes for MTV and Are You There, Chelsea? for NBC. Clements most recently was head of Creative Development and Original Programming for animation studio Bento Box. There he co-created The Legends Of Chamberlain Heights, which received a 10-episode order from Comedy Central this spring.
“Mike Clements is an extremely well-regarded comedy executive,” Bajaria said. “In addition to being very supportive and collaborative with writers, he is excited about helping us launch great comedies.”
Donnelly comes to Uni TV from CBS TV Studios where he worked with Bajaria before she left to take over Uni TV in 2011. Most recently serving as VP Comedy Development, he shepherded such CBS Studios series as The Odd Couple, The Millers and the upcoming Angel From Hell and was among the executives responsible for developing Crazy Ex-Girlfriend for Showtime and getting it to the CW after the pay cable network passed on the pilot.
“I have a longtime relationship with Jim and know firsthand how well he works with the creative community,” Bajaria said. “He’ll be a great addition to our strong comedy team, which includes our talented VP of comedy, Dan Shear.”
The appointments of Clements and Donnelly fill a double vacancy at Uni TV left by the recent departures of Pakosta to NBC and VP Andrew Weil to Netflix.