New President at Regency Television

From Excite News:

Peter Aronson Named President, Regency Television

Updated 7:03 PM ET August 16, 2000

LOS ANGELES (ENTERTAINMENT WIRE) – Peter Aronson, a former top creative lieutenant over Disney’s television studios, and most recently an exclusive writer-executive producer for Warner Bros. Television, has been named President, Regency Television. The announcement was made on behalf of Regency Enterprises by its Founder Arnon Milchan and President and CEO David Matalon, and on behalf of Fox TV Studios by President David Grant. Regency Enterprises and Fox TV Studios are 50/50 partners in the highly successful, three-year old Regency Television.

A onetime NBC page and protege of NBC chief Brandon Tartikoff, Mr. Aronson, 34, became Senior Vice President of Walt Disney Television at the age of 30. During his tenure, he supervised comedy hits ranging from “Ellen” to “Home Improvement,” rising to Executive Vice President, Creative Affairs for both Touchstone and Disney Television in 1997. His creative skills led Warner Bros. Television to make an overall writing and producing deal with Mr. Aronson in 1999.

Mr. Aronson assumes immediate responsibility for Regency’s four current series and all future development and production activities. He succeeds founding President Gail Berman, who in late-May assumed the role of President of Entertainment for the FOX Broadcasting Company. Regency’s slate of acclaimed and popular series boasts FOX comedy smash and flagship “Malcolm in the Middle,” The WB’s sophomore drama “Roswell,” as well as FOX freshman drama “FreakyLinks,” co-produced with sister 20th Century Fox Television from the creators of “The Blair Witch Project,” and new NBC comedy “Tucker.”

“Regency has been fortunate creating in television what it has always hoped to bring to film,” said Mr. Matalon, “which is an affinity for empowering the very best creative minds to express themselves more freely. We’re very excited to gain the experience and insights of someone as uniquely talented as Peter Aronson, and look forward to his leadership of our already established executive team.”

“There were no shortage of people interested in this opportunity, as Regency Television is a uniquely young, successful and entrepreneurial boutique,” added Mr. Grant. “We’ve been patiently searching for the right mix of creative and management skills required to continue that legacy, and in Pete we have that rare combination. ”

Added Mr. Aronson, “My last few years writing and producing allowed me an even deeper appreciation for the creative process, and yet ultimately, I yearned to get back into the action of the executive ranks. Regency represents that best of both worlds opportunity, and so I hope to now complement what everyone here has begun so well.”

Regency Television senior executives now reporting directly to Mr. Aronson are Tracy Katsky, Senior Vice President, Comedy; Maggie Murphy, Senior Vice President, Drama; Jon Katzman, Senior Vice President, Movies & Miniseries; and Stephanie Levine, Vice President, Current Programming.

Mr. Aronson joins Regency Television after spending the past year and a half under terms of an exclusive writer-producer agreement between he and partner Mike Langworthy at Warner Bros. Television. While there, he executive produced with Mr. Langworthy the short-lived but critically acclaimed comedy, “Zoe,” which the pair had collaborated upon during Mr. Aronson’s earlier executive tenure at Touchstone and Walt Disney Network Television.

Mr. Aronson joined Walt Disney Television as Supervising Producer, Creative Affairs, in 1996, working with production operations including the prolific Wind Dancer Production Group on comedy hits like “Home Improvement,” Michael Jacobs’ “Boy Meets World,” ABC staple “Ellen” and then drama “Dangerous Minds.” Following a reorganization of top management following then-Disney President Dean Valentine’s departure to head the nascent UPN, Mr. Aronson was made Executive Vice President of Creative Affairs, only to leave a year later to join writing partner Mr. Langworthy at Warner Bros.

He entered the television business in 1988 as an NBC page and became an assistant to then-NBC Entertainment and NBC Studios Chairman Brandon Tartikoff, who made Mr. Aronson his personal coordinator. Within two years, he segued to comedy powerhouse Witt-Thomas Productions and Witt-Thomas-Harris Productions as a production assistant, working on several of NBC’s top-rated comedies including “The Golden Girls” at that time. He rose quickly through the ranks to become a line producer on FOX comedy “Herman’s Head” in 1992, and within a year, was named Vice President of Development across all of Witt-Thomas Television. A year later, Witt-Thomas branched into theatrical comedies, naming Mr. Aronson President of its Mayhem Films comedy label. Mayhem was subsequently folded into the larger Witt-Thomas Films in 1995, with Mr. Aronson as President of the overall theatrical unit. He agreed in 1996 to join Touchstone Television and Walt Disney Network Television, which had earlier enjoyed an exclusive development and production agreement with Witt-Thomas Productions.

Regency Television is a joint venture between New Regency Enterprises and Fox Television Studios, created in late 1997. Founding President Gail Berman helped Regency to land its first-ever three series, “Roswell,” “Ryan Caulfield” and “Malcolm in the Middle” on the youth-oriented WB and FOX primetime schedules, respectively. Both “Roswell” and “Malcolm” were renewed for second seasons (beginning this fall), while Regency placed another two new series “FreakyLinks” (FOX) and “Tucker” (NBC) to conclude its second complete development cycle ended in May 1999.