Viacom has confirmed the promotion of TV Land’s Keith Cox to President, Development and Production, for Paramount Network and TV Land, adding top programming responsibilities at the soon-to-be rebranded Paramount Network (currently Spike), slated for an early 2018 launch. It will be a general entertainment network featuring scripted and nonscripted original programming.
Cox’s promotion, first reported by Deadline, follows the official announcement earlier today that Spike’s longtime head of programming, EVP Sharon Levy, a seasoned unscripted executive, would be leaving. Cox has an extensive scripted background to tackle Paramount Network’s newly established position as the top Viacom cable brand for scripted programming.
“Keith has done an incredible job in building TV Land’s slate of strong original scripted series over the last 10 years and reigniting the brand, and I’m thrilled to work with him as he continues to bring his strong creativity and unparalleled talent relationships to the Paramount Network,” said Kevin Kay, President of TV Land, CMT and Spike.
Cox comes from scripted comedy background. At TV Land, he developed, produced and launched the channel’s original scripted programming, beginning with hit original multi-camera sitcom Hot in Cleveland, which ran for six seasons and is now syndicated by CBS Television Distribution.
He then shifted TV Land into edgier, single-camera original series aimed at audiences in their 30s and 40s, beginning with Darren Star’s Younger, now entering its fourth season. The network’s comedy Teachers, now in its second season, has been setting series highs.
Upcoming TV Land original series include Nobodies, executive produced by Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone, which already has been picked up for a second season prior to its series premiere next month; American Woman, a 1970s period dramedy executive produced by John Wells and John Rigg; and the one-hour black anthology Heathers, based on the cult classic film.
“I am so excited to have the privilege to help build a new premium channel from the ground up with the Paramount Network,” Cox said. “It is an extraordinary opportunity to set a new bar for high-quality, character-driven content that resonates with audiences around the world.”
Prior to joining TV Land, Cox held the post of EVP Comedy and Alternative Development at the WB, where he oversaw all of the network’s half-hour and reality development of such series as Ashton Kutcher’s Beauty and the Geek and 51 Minds’ The Surreal Life. Earlier, he worked at Greenblatt/Janollari as VP Comedy and Drama Development, and he was part of the team that developed Six Feet Under and The Hughleys.
Here is the internal memo from Kay:
I’d like to share some exciting news about an incredibly smart, creative, and forward-thinking colleague of ours.
Keith Cox has been promoted to President, Development and Production for Paramount Network and TV Land.
Keith has played an integral role in TV Land’s ascension over the last decade. He is a developer of award-winning, critically-acclaimed, high-quality and buzz worthy scripted original series from “Hot in Cleveland” to “Younger” to “Teachers” to the highly-anticipated “Nobodies” from the powerhouse comedy team of Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone.
Keith has a phenomenal track record of shepherding relevant and compelling programming that connects with viewers and appeals to advertisers. I am confident he will bring that midas touch with big, bold distinctive original series for the Paramount Network and continue to deliver watercooler-worthy shows to TV Land. Please join me congratulating Keith on his well-deserved new position.