Heyday Television — the joint venture of feature producer David Heyman (Harry Potter, Gravity, Paddington) and NBCUniversal International Studios — has appointed Nancy Cotton as U.S. President of Production. Cotton, who starts today, comes from Fox 21 TV Studios, where she served as SVP Creative Affairs. She will work with Heyman, NBC Universal International Studios president Michael Edelstein and EVP JoAnn Alfano.
Based in the Los Angeles, Cotton will oversee development and production of scripted programming, including projects toward the two-series commitments the joint venture has at NBC. Additionally, the company plans to develop drama and comedy series for cable, premium cable and SVOD platforms, focusing on character-driven series and programs with international appeal.
“I want the shows to travel globally, that’s always been my approach,” Heyman said, adding, “I want to do shows that make people lean in as opposed to lean back.”
Heyman grew up with American films from the 1960s and 1970s, which he loved, but “that is harder and harder to get going in cinema,” he said, noting that world’s migration to television.
“I want to support great talent in realizing their vision,” Heyman said. He is not discuraged by the large volume of original programming on TV, with more than 400 scripted series. “If you do high-quality work, it will be seen,” he said.
Cotton was named to the Heyday post after an extensive executive search led by Heyman and Edelstein. Cotton has a long history with Heyman; the two have known each other for 35 years, going back to the time they were students at Harvard together.
“Nancy has an unbridled curiosity, great taste, passion and commitment,” Heyman said. “Her reputation with talent and writers is incredible. She and I share a vision for what we want the company to be.”
Heyday Television, which was launched in November, has offices in Los Angeles and London, with an executive hire for the London unit still pending.
Cotton most recently was SVP Creative Affairs at Fox 21 TV Studios and predecessor Fox TV Studios, overseeing the development and production of such series as The Americans for FX, The Killing for AMC and Netflix, and the upcoming USA drama Queen Of The South. She also recently developed the Showtime pilot The Chi, written by Lena Waithe.
Prior to Fox TV Studies, Cotton was Head of Television for Mel Gibson’s Icon Productions where she executive produced UPN’s Kevin Hill, starring Taye Diggs and the 10-part documentary series Carrier for PBS and produced ABC’s Complete Savages and CBS’ Clubhouse. Cotton also served as VP Programming for Mandalay Television. There, she produced series, Young Americans for the WB and worked on ABC’s Cupid. Previously, she was director, Drama Series at ABC, where she oversaw a host of series including David Kelley’s award-winning The Practice.