JEFF WACHTEL NAMED PRESIDENT USA NETWORK ORIGINAL PROGRAMMING
NEW YORK, NEW YORK � March 18, 2009 � Jeff Wachtel has been named president, original programming, USA Network, it was announced today by Bonnie Hammer, President, NBC Universal Cable Entertainment and Universal Cable Productions, to whom he reports. Wachtel will continue to oversee all USA original programming, including scripted series, reality/alternative and longform, including limited series. He will also continue his role as co-head, original content, Universal Cable Productions.
"As head of original programming, Jeff's leadership has inspired the team responsible for one of the most successful slates in all of television," said Hammer. "His creative intellect, impeccable taste and production savvy are among the best in the business, and we look forward to having his stamp of originality on all future successes here at USA."
Wachtel joined USA in 2001 as executive vice president, original programming. Since then, he has overseen all original programming for USA, cable television's acknowledged leader in successful original programming. Renowned series' launched under Wachtel's supervision include MONK, PSYCH, BURN NOTICE, IN PLAIN SIGHT and LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT. Wachtel also developed and supervised USA's earlier hit series THE DEAD ZONE and THE 4400, as well as the newest addition to USA's series slate, ROYAL PAINS, which will premiere on USA this summer.
As co-heads of content for the newly configured Universal Cable Productions, Wachtel and Mark Stern are responsible for the development and production of all UCP-produced programming for USA, SyFy, and third party networks. They recently inked their first studio development deals with Steve Franks, creator of PSYCH, and Jace Alexander, director of the BURN NOTICE and WAREHOUSE 13 pilots.
Prior to USA, Wachtel served as president of Alliance Atlantis Television, supervising all series and longform programming for Canada's leading program supplier. In 1997, he was the executive producer of the first-run syndicated series "Pensacola: Wings of Gold." Wachtel created the show while president of 3 Arts Television, a production company that partnered with CBS, Sony and 3 Arts Management. He served as president of 3 Arts Television from 1996 to 1997.
From 1990 to 1996, Wachtel was at Columbia Pictures Television, where he rose to executive vice president of primetime television and served in that capacity from 1993 to 1996. "Party of Five," "Dawson's Creek" and "Birdland" were among the series he developed. Before arriving at Columbia Pictures Television, Wachtel was senior vice president, movies and miniseries at Orion Television ("Equal Justice") from 1987 to 1990. He was previously vice president, development, at Robert Cooper Productions ("Murderers Among Us: The Simon Wiesenthal Story," "Dead Man Out") from 1984 to 1987.
Wachtel began his career as a theatre director and producer. He produced the first New York productions of David Mamet's works -- Sexual Perversity in Chicago and Duck Variations.
A graduate of Yale University, Wachtel is a founding member of L.A. Works, a community-based volunteer organization, as well as board member of the Zimmer Children's Museum, the Television Academy Foundation and the HRTS.
USA NETWORK is cable television's leading provider of original series and feature movies, sports and entertainment events, off-net television shows, and blockbuster theatrical films. The #1 network in basic cable, USA Network is seen in nearly 94 million U.S. homes. The USA Network Web site is located at www.usanetwork.com. Characters Welcome.
USA Network is a program service of NBC Universal Cable a division of NBC Universal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience.