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Gail Berman (born August 17, 1956) is co-owner and founding partner of BermanBraun. Prior to BermanBraun, Berman was the first and only female executive to hold the top posts at both a major film studio and television network.
Berman became President of Paramount Pictures in March 2005 and was responsible for the studio's annual slate of films, including the acquisition of literary properties, development, budgeting, casting, and the production of motion pictures for Paramount Pictures, MTV Films and Nickelodeon Movies. She left Paramount less than two years later in January of 2007.
Before joining Paramount, Berman served from 2000 to 2005 as President of Entertainment for Fox Broadcasting Company, where she held the top Fox programming post. At Fox, Berman was in charge of all program development and scheduling, as well as marketing, business affairs, and promotions. Berman took the network to number one, producing the following shows American Idol, 24, House, Arrested Development, Bones, and Family Guy. Most controversially, it was her decision to place Firefly in the "Friday night death slot", air the episodes out of order, and then cancel the series prior to the end of its first season. "I worked with [Firefly creator Joss Whedon] very closely on this particular show, and when it didn't perform... having to cancel it was very difficult."
Prior to her Fox presidency, Berman served as founding President of Regency Television, the TV studio created in 1998 as a co-venture between Fox Television Studios and New Regency Productions. Under Berman, Regency Television quickly grew into one of the most prolific and respected suppliers of TV entertainment programming, including the primetime hit “Malcolm in the Middle,” which she developed for Fox.
Berman also served as Executive Producer on both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spin-off, Angel. The series are frequently recognized as two of television's most successful young adult entertainment franchises.
Before assuming the Regency presidency, Berman served as President and CEO of production company Sandollar Television. While there, she had both creative and bottom-line responsibility for all program development and production. During her six years with Sandollar, Berman also served as Executive Producer on the primetime series All American Girl starring Margaret Cho.
Berman began her career as a theater producer after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in theater from the University of Maryland. At 23, she co-produced her first Broadway show, the original Broadway production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, which went on to garner seven Tony Award nominations. Berman’s other Broadway productions include Hurlyburly by David Rabe (1984), Athol Fugard’s Blood Knot (1985), and The Nerd by Larry Shue (1987), all of which received Tony Award nominations.
Berman is married to sitcom writer Bill Masters and they have two children.
- Eller, Claudia; Meg James (10 January 2007). "Berman appears to be on way out". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
- Owen, Rob (3 March 2011). Pittsburgh Post-Gazette http://communityvoices.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/arts-entertainment-living/tuned-in-journal/27525-rethinking-firefly
|url=missing title (help). Retrieved 5 June 2012.
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