Fox Searchlight’s TV division has made its first major hire since its April launch. Former FX Network and HBO execs Danny Samit and Kara Buckley have been named VPs Television Production, effective immediately. They are based in Los Angeles and report to David Greenbaum and Matthew Greenfield, Presidents of Production for Film and Television at Fox Searchlight Pictures.
“We are thrilled to welcome Kara and Danny to the Searchlight team,” Greenfield and Greenbaum said in a statemet. “They are two of the most dynamic young stars in the business. Each brings unique work and life experiences that, combined with their deep relationships across the creative content landscape, make them tremendous additions to the Searchlight family.”
Searchlight Television will produce original material as well as utilize the studio’s rich library of feature films for adaptation in broadcast television, cable and streaming with forays into scripted series, limited series, documentaries and more.
In the Fox portfolio, Searchlight Television will join another production division focused on premium fare for cable and streaming networks, including Hulu and Fox 21 TV Studios, which is part of 20th Century Fox Television. Fox in the past also had two cable/streaming production units, Fox 21 and Fox TV Studios, which merged in 2014.
The launch of a dedicated TV division indicates how highly regarded Searchlight is, and how it will figure into future plans when and if Disney completes its acquisition of Fox.
Samit first came to the Fox lot over eight years ago as Peter Rice’s assistant. Since then, he has moved up through the ranks. For the past four years, he has worked as Director of Current Series at FX Networks, where he covered drama, comedy and animation. There, he worked on Emmy-winning Atlanta over its first two seasons as well as American Horror Story, Legion, The Strain, Snowfall and Man Seeking Woman. Prior to joining FX Networks, Samit worked for Fox International Channels in Hong Kong for their premium regional cable networks, Fox Broadcasting Company, and United Talent Agency.
Buckley was most recently Director of Programming for Original Series at HBO, where she worked on drama series such as Sharp Objects, Big Little Lies, The Deuce, Game of Thrones and Here and Now. She also worked on Damon Lindelof’s Watchmen pilot, currently in production, and developed Jane Goldman and George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones prequel, which was picked up to pilot. Prior to working at HBO, Buckley worked at Legendary TV and William Morris Endeavor.
“I am honored to join Fox Searchlight Television, a new endeavor that combines two of my favorite things: Fox Searchlight and Television,” said Samit. “The quality of storytelling at Searchlight is unparalleled. Eight years after coming to Fox, I’m excited to finally be a member of the Searchlight family and collaborate with amazing colleagues and artists as we expand into a new forum.”
Said Buckley: “I’m incredibly excited by the opportunity to help build the television division of this esteemed, groundbreaking company. David Greenbaum, Matthew Greenfield and the entire Searchlight team have set the gold standard for feature film making, and I look forward to learning from and working with all of them as we try to do the same in television.”