Looking to diversify with original comedies and made-for-TV
movies, E! Entertainment Television has hired a programming veteran who helped spearhead Seinfeld
as vice president of development.
Lynn Deegan, who has tenure at Home Box Office and
Showtime, was brought on board at E! by Fran Shea, the network's acting president. As
head of development for E!, Deegan's mandate is to create a wide range of fictional
scripted programming, including dramas, dramas and original movies.
E! is joining a number of basic cable networks -- including
A&E Network, VH1 and TBS Superstation -- that are expanding into the made-for-cable
Deegan said that some of the docudramas that E! has done in
the past, for Hollywood Story series, could have been candidates for movies, such
as the murder story of Selena, the Tejano music star.
"So many of the docudramas could lend themselves to
scripted stories," Deegan said.
A movie on a celebrity romance also would be a likely topic
for an E! original movie, she added.
As for the new original series Deegan may develop, she
said, "I think of us landing our own South Park, which defined Comedy Central,
or Real World on MTV, or The Larry Sanders Show on HBO."
Most recently, Deegan was executive vice president of
international co-productions at Gaumont Television. Previously, she was executive vice
president at Spring Creek Productions, where she developed network and cable movies.
During her tenure as an executive vice president at Castle Rock Entertainment, Deegan
oversaw the development of Seinfeld. And at MTM Productions, Deegan oversaw
production of such hit series as Newhart, St. Elsewhere and Hill Street Blues.
Her credits include the HBO movies Truman and
Deegan couldn't say yet how many original series or
movies she will be expected to development. But she did say she wanted to start off slow.
The first of her development projects, be it a series or a movie, should be on the air by
the summer, according to Deegan.