Veteran Warner Bros. Television Group executives Susan Rovner and Brett Paul, most recently Presidents of Warner Horizon Scripted Television, have been promoted to Presidents of Warner Bros. Television, the group’s flagship scripted programming production unit.
Both will continue to serve as Presidents of Warner Horizon Scripted Television and to report to Peter Roth, Warner Bros. Television Group President and Chief Content Officer, who maintains oversight of all WBTVG divisions, including WBTV, Warner Horizon Scripted Television, Warner Bros. Animation, Warner Horizon Unscripted Television, Telepictures, Shed Media and Blue Ribbon Content.
Rovner and Paul’s promotion, which comes five years after the duo’s appointment as Presidents of WHSTV, is believed to contractual, built into their deals, and not tied to the pending reorganization of Warner Bros. Entertainment top ranks following the exit of chairman and CEO Kevin Tsujihara. Roth serves on the Warner Bros. interim leadership team with Toby Emmerich and Kim Williams while search is underway for a new CEO, with both scenarios of a new CEO coming in and the company relying on its existing leadership being speculated about.
Presidents of both WBTV and WHSTV, the TV Group’s unit focused on original scripted content for cable/streaming, Rovner and Paul will jointly have day-to-day management of all scripted TV programming developed and produced by the studio, a total of more than 60 current original series combined between the two labels, 60% of them for SVOD platforms/cable networks.
“Susan and Brett have been fundamental to the success of the Warner Bros. Television Group for more than 20 years,” Roth said. “At Warner Bros., we are incredibly fortunate to be associated with some of the most accomplished writers, producers and creative talent in the world.”
In her new role, Rovner, formerly EVP for WBTV, will have responsibility for creative affairs at both WBTV and WHSTV. She will continue to oversee WBTV’s drama and comedy development teams, while adding oversight for the current programming group. She will also continue to lead WHSTV’s programming staff. During her more than 20 years at the Studio, Rovner has personally developed or overseen the development of 18 series that have reached the 100-episode milestone or will do so during the 2019–20 television season. She has worked closely with such top producers as Greg Berlanti, J.J. Abrams, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Elizabeth Banks, Ava DuVernay, Bruno Heller, I. Marlene King, Michael Patrick King, Bill Lawrence, Damon Lindelof, Jonathan Nolan & Lisa Joy, Julie Plec, Rob Thomas, John Wells and more.
Current WBTV hits developed during Rovner’s tenure include Arrow, Black Lightning, The Flash, Riverdale, Supergirl and Supernatural for The CW; Shameless for Showtime; Castle Rock and Shrill for Hulu; Chilling Adventures of Sabrina for Netflix; Doom Patrol and Titans for DC Universe; and Westworld for HBO. Upcoming series include AJ and the Queen for Netflix, Little Voice for Apple TV+, Veronica Mars for Hulu and Watchmen for HBO. At the recently concluded May 2019 broadcast network upfronts, Rovner’s team scored new series orders for Batwoman and Katy Keene at The CW, All Rise at CBS and Prodigal Son at Fox.
“I am truly honored and unbelievably excited to have the opportunity to lead the outstanding team we have here at Warner Bros. Television,” said Rovner. “I have spent the majority of my career here, and I am extremely grateful for the confidence Peter has shown in me.”
As the top business executive at WBTV and WHSTV, Paul is tasked with the strategic direction for each division in a multiplatform media landscape. He has direct operational oversight of physical production, business affairs, estimating and administration for both divisions, and shared oversight of divisional legal and finance with Warner Bros. corporate. During his tenure with the studio, he has personally led or been central to negotiation of several high-profile writer/producer/pod agreements, including Chuck Lorre, Greg Berlanti, J.J. Abrams/Bad Robot Productions, Michael Patrick King, Damon Lindelof, John Wells Productions, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Archie Comics, Inc., and most recently Ava DuVernay and Mindy Kaling. He has also overseen the studio’s highest-profile talent contracts, including the long-term renegotiations for the casts of The Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men, Shameless, Supernatural and many others.
Paul began his career at the Studio in 1995 as VP, Business Affairs, WBTV, before being promoted to EVP, Business Affairs, Operations and Finance, in January 2006.
“In the last five years, we have transitioned from a company principally focused on broadcast television into a multiplatform studio, with an expanded production footprint and more than half of our programming premiering on cable (both premium and basic) and subscription/on-demand services,” Paul said. “Susan and I intend to continue to build on that momentum, and with the exciting structural changes in our own backyard, we look forward to leading WBTV and WHSTV into a most exciting future.”
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