Another veteran ABC executive is heading to NBC. I’ve learned that Quinn Taylor, SVP Movies, Miniseries and Acquisitions at ABC Entertainment Group, will be leaving the network after almost 20 years to join rival NBC, which is looking to restart a longform division. I hear his title will be EVP Movies, Miniseries and International Co-Productions.
NBC has The Sound Of Music staging coming up, which would be right up Taylor’s alley as he has overseen a number of TV musicals at ABC, including Meredith Willson’s The Music Man starring Matthew Broderick. ABC is the only broadcast network that kept its longform division, headed by a high-level executive, while TV movies and miniseries dwindled on broadcast TV during the past several years.
Given the longform drought, Taylor had been focused on lower-budget and acquired series recently, overseeing such ABC shows as this summer’s newcomers Motive and Mistresses and returning Rookie Blue. NBC has been also very aggressive in acquired/lower-license fee series, including this summer’s Camp and Crossing Lines as well as recently renewed Hannibal and next season’s Crossbones and Dracula.
In light of the blockbuster success of History’s Hatfields & McCoys and The Bible, miniseries and limited/event series are making a big comeback, something NBC clearly wants to be part of. Fox and FX launched a longform unit last fall and recently greenlighted their first three event/limited series: Fargo on FX and 24: Live Another Day and Wayward Pines on Fox.
At NBC, Taylor joins head of scheduling Jeff Bader, who was poached last summer after a 24-year stint at the alphabet network. (Bader also brought over his top lietenant Steve Kern.) Taylor, who joined ABC’s telefilm department in 1996, served as SVP Movies and Miniseries at ABC Entertainment from 2002-09. Some of the longform projects he shepherded include Like With Judy Garland: Me And My Shadows, Anne Frank, A Raising In the Sun and several Oprah Winfrey Presents and Stephen King productions.
UPDATE 5:35 PM: NBC just confirmed Taylor’s appointment. Here is the press release:
UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – June 17, 2013 – NBC has named former ABC programming executive Quinn Taylor as Executive Vice President, Movies, Miniseries and International Co-Productions, it was announced today by Jennifer Salke, President, NBC Entertainment.
In this role, Quinn will oversee all development and programming of original movies and miniseries, as well as longform acquisitions. He will also become a key programming executive of series that have an international co-production element, either in concert with the NBC International division or with outside suppliers. Recent or upcoming shows that were innovatively financed this way include “Hannibal” and the upcoming “Dracula,” “Crossbones,” and “Camp,” among others.
“NBC is committed to a programming strategy that will include creating competitive, award-winning event television and there is no one else we’d rather have than Quinn to head up this initiative,” said Salke. “NBC is excited to be back in the longform programming business – an area where the network has played a leadership role in the past – and we are thrilled that Quinn will be bringing his vision, experience and creative talent to the development of movies and miniseries for NBC.”
Previously, Taylor was senior vice president, Movies, Miniseries and Acquisitions, ABC Entertainment Group, since June 2009 where he oversaw all made-for-TV movies, miniseries and acquisitions for the ABC Entertainment Group. Prior to that, Taylor had been senior vice president, Movies and Miniseries, ABC Entertainment, since 2002, having first joined ABC’s telefilm department in 1996.
Taylor’s recent credits include the new series “Motive” and “Mistresses,” and “Rookie Blue,” now in its fourth season. At ABC, he also oversaw the Hallmark Hall of Fame franchise and all of the highly successful miniseries from the master of horror, Stephen King, including 2002’s “Stephen King’s Rose Red.” Among his past credits are the critically acclaimed movie “A Raisin in the Sun,” which aired in 2008, the Julian Fellows miniseries “Titanic,” and “The Path to 9/11,” an adaptation of the 9/11 Commission Report starring Harvey Keitel, Patricia Heaton, Donnie Wahlberg, Frank John Hughes and Dan Lauria, which aired in 2006.
Among the Emmy-nominated projects he oversaw at ABC were “Stephen King’s Desperation,” Robert Halmi Sr.’s miniseries “The Ten Commandments,” and “Once Upon a Mattress,” the fractured telling of the classic fairytale, “The Princess and the Pea.”
He also oversaw the adaptation of “The Five People You Meet in Heaven” by bestselling author Mitch Albom, and brought back, after a four-year hiatus, Oprah Winfrey’s telefilm franchise with “Oprah Winfrey Presents: Their Eyes Were Watching God,” starring Academy Award winner Halle Berry. As part of ABC’s “Wonderful World of Disney,” he spearheaded the development and production on the six-hour miniseries, “Little House on the Prairie,” a true return to the books written by Laura Ingalls Wilder and brought the classic children’s books, “Eloise,” to the screen for the first time in “Eloise at the Plaza” and “Eloise at Christmastime,” both starring the legendary Julie Andrews.
During his tenure at ABC, Taylor was responsible for the hit remake of the musical “Meredith Willson’s The Music Man,” starring Matthew Broderick, and “Dreamkeeper,” the visually rich miniseries depicting Native American mythology. He also served as executive on such projects as “Anne Frank,” winner of a Peabody Award and the Emmy Award for Outstanding Miniseries, “Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows,” winner of five Emmy Awards and the highest-rated miniseries of the 2000-01 season. He was also the executive on the telefilms “Oprah Winfrey Presents: Amy and Isabelle” and “Brian’s Song” in 2002.