Sony television executive Kathryn Busby has been named EVP of TriStar Television. She will lead the TV label, reporting to Chris Parnell and Jason Clodfelter, co-presidents of Sony Pictures Television Studios.
Busby fills a void left by the October departure of TriStar head Hannah Minghella to become head of film of film of J.J. ABrams’ Bad Robot. For the last nine months of her 14-year Sony tenure, Minghella had a dual role as President of TriStar Pictures and TriStar Television, adding TriStar TV duties in January 2019.
At the time of her exit, TriStar EVP Nicole Brown was named as her replacement at the Sony label, supervising TriStar’s film operations, while Parnell and Clodfelter took over running TriStar TV until a replacement was found.
Most recently, Busby was SVP of Development at SPT’s boutique production unit for lower-cost TV series Gemstone Studios, headed by Marie Jacobson. At the unit, launched in March, she spearheaded the production of drama series Absentia, starring Stana Katic, having overseen the show’s development before that. The thriller drama has been picked up by Amazon for a third season, as well as by AXN in territories, including Spain, Portugal, Central Europe and Latin America.
Prior to Gemstone Studios, Busby was SVP, Development for SPT’s international networks. In that capacity, she oversaw development of the local language original series Ultraviolet, created by Wendy West and executive produced by Barry Josephson, for AXN in Poland, and Netflix internationally. Busby also oversaw development of the global crime procedural Carter, starring Jerry O’Connell and Sydney Poitier Heartsong, which premiered on UKTV and WGN in 2019.
“Whether at SPT’s networks or our boutique production label, Kathryn has had a strong track record of developing original series in an innovative way,” said Clodfelter and Parnell. “Kathryn’s creativity and passion for the artist are infectious, and we are thrilled for her to bring her unique vision to TriStar,”
Prior to joining SPT, Busby was VP of Original Programming for TNT and TBS, where she worked on development of such series as Black Box, starring Deon Cole; Wedding Band, starring Brian Austin Greene; and Sullivan & Son, produced by Vince Vaughn. Previously, Busby was SVP of Production at New Line Cinema, where she was Executive Producer on the Sex and the City movie. Prior to that, Busby was SVP and Head of Development at Carsey-Werner, overseeing the development of Grounded for Life and was part of the production team for 3rd Rock from the Sun and That 70’s Show. Busby began her television career as Director of Comedy Development at Universal Television.
After being dormant for more than a decade, the TriStar Television brand was revived in 2015 as a boutique production unit within Sony Pictures Television run by Suzanne Patmore Gibbs. She led the division until her sudden death in 2018, evolving it into a place focused on female-driven projects in front and behind the camera.
TriStar TV currently has one series on the air, Showtime’s dark comedy series On Becoming a God in Central Florida, starring and executive produced by Kirsten Dunst, which has been renewed for a second season. It was one of the last projects developed by Patmore Gibbs.
TriStar TV, whose past series credits include Good Girls Revolt; and The Last Tycoon starring Matt Bomer, has a development slate that includes marital thriller A Reliable Wife, based on the bestselling book; The Eight, based on the bestselling novel by Katherine Neville; How to Murder Your Life, based on the memoir by Cat Marnell; and Silicon Valley drama series Alpha Girls, based on Julian Guthrie’s book.
“I am incredibly excited about this new opportunity and look forward to working more closely with Jason and Chris, and collaborating with Nicole Brown on the film side, as we honor the TriStar legacy and build the brand in the new decade,” Busby said. “There are so many great outlets, and with all the considerable Sony resources, I can’t wait to work with the TriStar team to tell stories that are elevated, distinctive and noisy.”