E! Entertainment Television has joined Comedy Central and Lifetime Television in losing a top programming executive.
John Rieber, E!'s senior vice president of original programming, will leave the network after 15 years to form his own production company, Steamroller Entertainment. He and his wife Alex Duda — the creator of the reality series Elimidate —
are partners in the new outfit.
One of Steamroller's first projects is to serve as executive producer on the upcoming E! series Royalty A-Z,
an international co-production between E! and Ardent Productions.
Rieber won't be replaced, according to an E! spokeswoman. His duties will be assigned to other members of E!'s programming team.
Rieber gave E! its signature event program, the pre-Academy Awards show Live from the Red Carpet.
This year's edition was the most-watched show in the network's history.
He also supervised the production of Talk Soup, The E! True Hollywood Story
and Revealed to Jules Asner.
Both Comedy Central and Lifetime are searching to fill vacancies in their top programming slots. Comedy Central's Deborah Liebling, senior vice president of original programming, just stepped down and must be replaced. Liebling was the force behind such Comedy shows as Win Ben Stein's Money, The Man Show
and Primetime Glick.
For its part, Lifetime is still hunting for a successor to Dawn Tarnofsky-Ostroff, who left as the network's executive vice president of entertainment earlier this year. Tarnofsky-Ostroff became president of UPN Entertainment on Feb. 11.
Tarnofsky-Ostroff developed the hourlong dramatic shows that have garnered big ratings for Lifetime on Sunday night — the series Any Day Now, Strong Medicine
and The Division.
Those programs, as well as an original-movie franchise also under her purview, have propelled Lifetime to the top of basic-cable's primetime household ratings.