UPDATED: This is very sad news for the TV community — Suzanne Patmore Gibbs, the head of Sony Pictures TV’s TriStar Television, died suddenly this morning. She was 50. The respected veteran TV executive, who also had held top executive posts at Sony TV, ABC and Touchstone TV, passed away unexpectedly at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center of complications from minor surgery.
“Today we lost an amazing and wonderful member of the SPT family. This is a shock to all of us, and we are heartbroken,” SPT president Jeff Frost and co-presidents Chris Parnell and Jason Clodfelter wrote in a note to the company staff announcing Patmore Gibbs’ passing. “All of us at Sony Pictures Television were touched by Suzanne’s passion and friendship. She was a wonderful colleague and friend to all who worked with her. She will be greatly missed and our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends during this difficult time.”
Patmore Gibbs most recently relaunched TriStar Television as a division of SPT. She led the unit for the past three years, gradually building it into a label focused on female-driven projects, in front and behind the camera, as exemplified by the Amazon series Good Girls Revolt. Patmore Gibbs was passionate about providing more opportunities for female showrunners and directors, about championing projects with strong female roles and about encouraging new voices and diversity. The exec, who also shepherded TriStar TV’s series Shut Eye and The Last Tycoon, is leaving behind a slate of a slew of high-profile projects set up at cable and streaming networks.
Before taking over TriStar TV, Patmore Gibbs served as EVP drama development for SPT, where her team developed NBC’s The Blacklist, The Night Shift and The Player; Outlander on Starz; Bloodline and The Get Down on Netflix; Houdini and Doyle on Fox; and Powers on PlayStation.
Before joining Sony TV, Patmore Gibbs served as EVP scripted programming for ABC Entertainment Group, where she was instrumental in the development of hits Desperate Housewives and Grey’s Anatomy, which she championed, and also shepherded such series as Lost, Revenge, Once Upon a Time, Scandal, Suburgatory and Ugly Betty. She also worked as SVP drama development at Touchstone Television, as SVP development at Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz’s Bedford Falls and acted as an adjunct professor of screenwriting at the USC film school from 1999-2002.
Patmore Gibbs is survived by her husband, Stuart; children Dashiell and Violet; her brother, Alan; and her parents, Barry and Carole.
“She was a mentor, a guiding light, and a tastemaker for multiple studios including ABC, Sony and most recently TriStar Television,” the family said. “She was kind, thoughtful and supportive to everyone she worked with — and in return, she was respected and admired throughout Hollywood. While she was justifiably proud of her many career accomplishments, she felt that her greatest success was her loving family and friends. She will be greatly missed.”