Following Berlanti Productions’ big slate expansion over the past several years to become the most prolific producer in television, the company founded by Greg Berlanti is also expanding its top executive suite.
Sarah Schechter, who has served as President of Berlanti Productions for the past six years, overseeing both television and film, has been elevated to the newly created position of Chairwoman and Partner.
Former AMC Networks and Fox Broadcasting Company President David Madden has joined Berlanti Productions as its new President, spearheading the company’s television operations. He is expected to start next week and will report to Berlanti and Schechter.
Schechter has been instrumental in the growth of Berlanti Productions since joining the company in February 2014. At the time, Berlanti Productions had two series on the air, Arrow and The Tomorrow People at the CW, and was developing the pilot for The Flash. As of February 2020, Berlanti Productions has a record 20 television series across seven outlets, including 19 live-action scripted series and one unscripted docuseries. On the film side, Schechter produced Joe Wright’s Pan, as well as the upcoming Shawn Levy–directed Free Guy, starring Ryan Reynolds.
“Sarah is simply the best at what she does,” Berlanti said. “I am inspired by her leadership, passion, smarts and vision every day. I’m grateful for everything she has done for this company and I’m beyond thrilled all of our shows, and everyone who works so hard on them, will continue to benefit from her immense talent for years to come.”
Following the rapid TV expansion of Berlanti Production, Schechter, who comes from a feature background, will be shifting her attention to ramping up the company’s film output, with Madden spearheading the ongoing TV efforts.
“I’ve admired Dave since we first worked together for his creative insight and his warm and beloved leadership style,” Berlanti said. “Sarah and I couldn’t be happier that he has chosen to join us as we continue to build the TV side of our company.”
Berlanti and Schechter previously worked with Madden while he was President of Entertainment at Fox Broadcasting. Berlanti Prods. developed multiple projects at the network while Madden was there, including Riverdale and Black Lightning, neither of which went forward at Fox but both became successful series on the CW and streaming.
Berlanti Productions’ television business is based at Warner Bros. Television Group, under a mega exclusive multi-year overall deal that runs through 2024.
“Berlanti Productions is synonymous with creative excellence, and all of us at Warner Bros. are both honored and privileged to be associated with Greg and his entire team,” Warner Bros. TTV’s Peter Roth, Susan Rovner and Brett Paul said. “Crucial to the company’s extraordinary success is the incomparable Sarah Schechter. Sarah is an exceptional producer and we are delighted that she will continue to lead this company with Greg. We are also very excited to welcome the outstanding David Madden to Berlanti Productions.”
A respected programming executive and producer, Madden most recently served as President of Programming, Entertainment Networks, at AMC Networks. In that role, he oversaw all program development and production for the AMC, BBC America, IFC, and Sundance TV channels, as well as AMC Studios. Prior to that, Madden worked for nearly two decades at Fox, including stints as President of Fox Television Studios and President of Entertainment for the Fox Broadcasting Company.
After leaving AMC, Madden had been looking to return to his roots in producing when he was presented with the opportunity to join Berlanti Prods. .
Berlanti Productions is prepping new DC drama Superman & Lois, which was recently ordered straight-to-series by the CW, as well as broadcast network pilots The Brides (from Riverdale’s Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa) for ABC and Kung Fu (from Blindspot’s Christina M. Kim and Martin Gero) for the CW. The company also produced the Arrow-verse backdoor pilot Green Arrow and the Canaries (which aired as an episode of Arrow this season) for the CW. For cable and streaming, Berlanti Productions is readying the Showtime pilot Spoonbenders (from Stephen Falk), and developing Green Lantern and Strange Adventures for HBO Max, among many other projects.
Current series produced by the company include the CW Network’s Arrow-verse of DCTV dramas: Arrow (which completed its eight-season run in January 2020), Batwoman, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, The Flash and Supergirl. The company also produces All American, Black Lightning, Katy Keene and Riverdale for the CW, Blindspot for NBC, God Friended Me for CBS, Prodigal Son for FOX, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, The Girls on the Bus and You for Netflix, Doom Patrol for DC Universe and HBO Max, Stargirl for DC Universe(with next-day broadcast on the CW), Titans for DC Universe, plus The Flight Attendant and docuseries EQUAL for HBO Max, WarnerMedia’s upcoming streaming service.
Prior to joining Berlanti Productions, Schechter spent nine years at Warner Bros. Pictures, serving as SVP of production. During her tenure, she oversaw films such as Spike Jonze’s Her and Clint Eastwood’s Gran Torino. Other projects include Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows, Invictus, J. Edgar, Life as We Know It (directed by Berlanti), I Am Legend and 300: Rise of an Empire.
Schechter joined Warner Bros. as a creative executive in 2005, ascended to vice president in 2007, and then senior vice president in 2009. Prior to that, Schechter was an executive at Barry Mendel Productions at Universal Pictures for several years. While there, she oversaw The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and worked on Munich and The Royal Tenenbaums, among others.
Programs developed and produced during Madden’s tenure at the Fox network include Empire, 911, Brooklyn 99, MasterChef Junior and Grease Live. Series produced by Fox TV Studios under Madden include The Shield, The Americans, The Killing, White Collar, Graceland and Burn Notice.
As a producer and partner in The Cort/Madden Company, Madden’s credits include the Emmy-winning HBO film Something the Lord Made, plus the feature films Runaway Bride, Save the Last Dance and Against the Ropes. At Interscope Communications, he developed and produced titles such as The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, The Associate, Operation Dumbo Drop and Renegades. He also did stints as an executive at Paramount Pictures and 20th Century Fox.