EXCLUSIVE: Former E! head of scripted Kevin Plunkett has been named EVP and Head of Television for Lionsgate and New Regency’s recently formed television production joint venture. Plunkett, who will be based at New Regency’s Century City offices, will report to a joint board of the two companies.
As part of a long-term film and TV production and distribution agreement between Lionsgate and New Regency announced at NATPE in January, the two companies launched a television production joint venture focused on creating premium scripted series for global audiences by mining New Regency’s library of IP as well as generating original TV program ideas.
Most recently, Plunkett was SVP, Scripted Programming for E!. As the network’s first ever dedicated scripted executive, he led E!’s expansion into the arena, overseeing the development and launch of the channel’s first original scripted series, breakout drama The Royals. On it, Plunkett worked with Lionsgate TV, which is the leading studio, co-producing the series — now in production on its third season — with Universal Cable Prods. Additionally, Plunkett developed and oversaw E!’s followup original scripted series, The Arrangement, which will premiere in 2017. He departed E! this spring as NBCUniversal consolidated all of its cable scripted operations.
“Kevin is a gifted and highly experienced creative executive with a track record of successful series, and our team has enjoyed working with him on numerous projects, most recently on our hit drama The Royals,” said Kevin Beggs, Chairman, Lionsgate Television Group. “We know from our work with Kevin that his experience developing fan-favorite shows coupled with New Regency’s assets is a winning combination that will lead to high quality, buzzworthy series that networks will want and audiences will love.”
Prior to E!, Plunkett spent nearly seven years at ABC Entertainment Group, holding positions at both the network and studio and working on such series as Cougar Town, Happy Endings, Scrubs, Samantha Who?, According to Jim, and The George Lopez Show. He also led the network’s efforts in the digital extensions of both half-hour and hour shows on ABC.com. Before that, Plunkett spent three years in comedy development at Paramount TV, developing such projects as Everyone Hates Chris. In addition, he did stints at ABC Family, Fox Family, Disney Channel and FX.
“Kevin is a well-respected programming executive with excellent relationships throughout the industry and the perfect creative fit for this endeavor,” said Yariv Milchan and Jonathan Fischer, New Regency’s Chairman and COO, respectively. “New Regency has an extensive library of classic and beloved properties and we are very pleased that our production joint venture with Lionsgate will allow many of those stories to continue on television.”