Keeping up with a growing trend on cable, Fox Family
Channel has set up a new department dedicated to the creation and development of primetime
scripted series, officials said last week.
Fox Family named Nancy Redford vice president of
programming and development for the scripted unit, with Kevin Plunkett named director of
programming and development. The new department will be under the supervision of Rob
Sorcher, Fox Family's executive vice president of programming and development.
In their new slots, Redford and Plunkett will oversee
primetime scripted series -- hour and half-hours, which are adult-driven family fare.
Fox Family has one hour-long scripted show that will debut
in January, Cliffhangers, according to Sorcher, but he added that the network needs
to have many more on-air. Having one department totally focused on the scripted-series
form will jump-start that process, he said.
"We need a family 'dramedy' on our
air," Sorcher said, "and a show like that involves a tremendous amount of
In the past year, a number of cable networks have expanded
their program lineups to included scripted series, including MTV: Music Television, Comedy
Central, Turner Network Television and TBS Superstation.
In primetime, Fox Family has depended on reality-based
shows and original made-for-cable movies so far. "As cable evolves in general, you
reach a point where you've exhausted genres," Sorcher said. "We need to get
into other flavors in primetime."
Redford is moving to Fox Family primetime from the
network's daytime division, where she was vice president of programming and
development. In that position, she oversaw the development of the computer-generated Weird-Ohs
series and this fall's live-action show, S Club 7.
Plunkett joins Fox Family from Disney Channel, where he was
manager of original programming, responsible for developing both drama and comedy series.
Fox Family -- which is owned by the News Corp. and Saban
Entertainment joint venture called Fox Family Worldwide Inc. -- thoroughly revamped its
program lineup in August, aiming at kids during the day and families in the evening.
Sorcher, a former top programmer at Cartoon Network, came
on board in June.