Turner Broadcasting’s TNT and TBS have set their creative development and production teams, with Joey Chavez joining the company as SVP Original Programming for TNT and Thom Hinkle promoted to SVP Original Programming for TBS. In addition, Robin Pelleck has been upped to VP Digital content for TNT & TBS Original Programming, and Meredith Zamsky has been hired as VP Production for TNT.
Today’s announcements marks the latest executive moves under Kevin Reilly, who in November was named President of TBS and TNT and Chief Creative Officer of Turner Entertainment. In February, three months into his new gig, Reilly announced a splitting of the awkwardly merged TNT/TBS original programming team into two separate units. Running the two units, producer Sarah Aubrey was named EVP Original Programming for TNT, and Turner’s Brett Weitz was upped to EVP for TBS. The comedy-centered TBS was going to get a brand makeover with a focus on “bold sensibility and a network that’s more digital and more socially driven,” while drama-oriented TNT would “sharpen the brand with a distinct slate of new programming aimed at a younger, more dual-gendered audience,” Reilly said.
He planned to double TNT and TBS’ original programming output, stronger emphasis on both networks owning a larger portion of their content, increasing the importance of the company’s in-house production arm. And Sandra Dewey was named President of TNT and TBS Productions and Business Affairs, with responsibility for overseeing the business affairs for the two networks and running their expanded in-house production arm.
In today’s appointments, Chavez will be responsible for the development of new TNT original series, while supervising the continued development of greenlighted shows as they are being prepared for launch. Chavez, based in Los Angeles, reports to Aubrey and will work alongside Sam Linsky, SVP Original Programming. Chavez previously served as VP Drama Development at NBC, where he was the primary development executive on The Blacklist and worked on Parenthood, Revolution, Heroes, the Law & Order franchises and Southland, the Peabody Award-winning series that moved from NBC to TNT in its second season.
Hinkle is responsible for original scripted comedy on TBS and serves as the primary liaison between the network and studios. Based in Los Angeles, Hinkle reports to Weitz. Hinkle joined TBS in October 2013 and has worked on several new and upcoming series for the network, including Angie Tribeca, starring Rashida Jones and created by Steve and Nancy Carell. He also developed TBS’ new single-camera comedy pilot Wrecked, from Justin and Jordan Shipley and executive producer Jesse Hara. Most recently, Hinkle helped TBS bring The Daily Show stars Jason Jones and Samantha Bee to the network – Jones to star in a new scripted comedy the pair are writing together and Bee to develop a starring vehicle/issues-based series.
Before coming to TBS, Hinkle served as Co-president of the TV production arm for Steve Carell’s Carousel Productions, where he put into development Angie Tribeca and Wrecked, as well as movie Bone Wars for HBO. Hinkle began his career at The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, where he was hired as a researcher before being promoted to associate producer and field producer (he was the show’s very first Employee of the Month).
Pelleck will work directly with current series productions to develop custom content and digital extensions. She will serve as the primary contact between both networks’ series productions and TNT & TBS’s advertising sales, marketing and social media teams to create digital content for linear series. She is based in LA, reporting to Linsky.
Pelleck’s career began as an intern at CNN, leading to a move to live sports work for Moxie Video Productions, CBS Sports and ABC Sports. Pelleck, who had a long relationship with Turner, producing and writing for Court TV (now truTV) and working on the PGA Championship and NFL on TNT for Turner Sports, rejoined the Turner team as Director of Original Custom Content for TNT & TBS. Pelleck founded Order24 Productions, whose and clients included Viacom, CBS Sports, ABC Sports/ESPN, NBC, Sundance Channel, truTV, Turner Studios, Nickelodeon, MTV, BET, AOL, Edelman Digital, BBDO and Ogilvy.
Zamsky is responsible for supervising, coordinating and monitoring production-related activities, from preproduction through wrap on upcoming TNT original programs. This includes staffing and negotiating deals for key crew, production scheduling, budgeting, negotiating vendor contracts and partnering with producers. Zamsky is based in Los Angeles and reports to Mark Weissman, SVP Production.
Zamsky served as a producer on ABC’s Castle and NBC’s The Office after having previously served as a production manager on both series. She also produced the TV movies Mind Games and Life Of The Party: The Pamela Harriman Story, as well as six ABC Afterschool Specials. For the big screen, Zamsky’s credits include serving as executive producer on such films as Country Strong and The Stepfather, associate producer on the movie Shopgirl and The Next Best Thing and co-producer on The Real Blonde, Box Of Moonlight, Double Whammy and Living In Oblivion, among others. She also served as production manager on many of those films.