Jackie de Crinis, USA Network’s EVP original programming who developed many of the network’s signature series — from Monk to Mr. Robot — is stepping down and segueing to an overall deal with sibling Universal Cable Prods. Under the pact, de Crinis will serve as an executive producer on the USA/UCP 10-episode straight-to-series drama Eyewitness and will develop new projects for the studio. She is already in Canada where Eyewitness starts production this week.
De Crinis’ exit from USA had been in the works since the NBCU executive restructuring in February when Syfy’s Bill McGoldrick was named EVP, Scripted Content for USA, Syfy, E! and Bravo, with de Crinis reporting to him. McGoldrick will now have a sole oversight of USA’s scripted development.
“I have always wanted to produce, it is something I wanted to do when I started in the business,” de Crinis told Deadline. “I had a long wonderful career as an executive, and now the timing was right, it was an opportunity to exercise new muscle in a new creative challenge.” Regarding her decision to set up shop at UCP, se Crinis said, “I have been at USA for 16 yeas and wanted to stay with the family I know and love.”
Eyewitness, an adaptation of the Norwegian crime thriller Øyevitne, explores a grisly crime from the point of view of the eyewitnesses. James Paxton, Gil Bellows, Julianne Nicholson and Tyler Young star in the project, written and executive produced by Shades of Blue creator Adi Hasak.
In her first stint as USA’s EVP scripted series, de Crinis oversaw the development of hits such as Burn Notice, Royal Pains, White Collar, Covert Affairs and cable ratings record-breaker Monk, which she brought with her from ABC. In 2009, she relocated with her family to Hawaii, with McGoldrick succeeding her in the scripted development post, but de Crinis remained a senior USA programming executive, overseeing current series from Hawaii. In 2013, when McGoldrick moved to Syfy, de Crinis returned to Los Angeles as EVP of original programming for USA and developed the network’s breakout new drama Mr. Robot, which won a Golden Globe.
“Jackie is an exceptional talent and has developed some of the most iconic shows on television,” said Dawn Olmstead, EVP, Development, UCP. “I look forward to bringing her insight and experience as a producer to our team. We are fortunate to have her.”
Earlier in her career, de Crinis was VP of drama at ABC, responsible for Once and Again and Cupid, among other series. Prior to that she did stints at 20th Century Fox and TriStar.
De Crinis, who will continue to maintain dual residences in Los Angeles and Hawaii but will be based in Los Angeles, does not anticipate going back to the executive ranks, looking to a future as a producer going forward. Having developed both blue-sky fare like Royal Pains and Monk and darker, edgier dramas like Mr. Robot, she said her development won’t be defined by genre.
“I always start with character, that would my brand,” she said. “Darker or lighter, it doesn’t matter; it will about authentic characters and the voice of the writer.”