In his first executive appointment since taking on the position of president and chief content officer at NBCU Cable Entertainment, Jeff Wachtell has tapped Dawn Parouse Olmstead to head its scripted development.
Olmstead will serve as executive vice president of development. In the post, she’ll oversee the development and sale of all scripted series for UCP. Richard Rothstein will now head current programming for the cable production group.
Both Omstead and Rothstein will report to Wachtel.
“It’s a real coup for us to land a creative producer at Dawn’s level to spearhead our newly escalating effort to create and own original content,” Wachtel said in a statement on Wednesday. “She is one of the smartest and most focused producers I’ve ever met, and she is the perfect person to take our in house scripted studio to the next level.”
He added, “With almost a dozen shows in active production, it was time to centralize the management of our existing and upcoming series. It’s a core belief that it’s not enough just to get shows on the air; our job is to get series to the critical mass of creating a long term asset. Richard has been a key member of the team that has created one of the best series-to-success ratios in the business.”
Olmstead comes to UCP from Original Television, which she launched alongside Neal Moritz and Marty Adelstein. Original produced Fox dramas “Tru Calling” and “Point Pleasant” and comedy “The Help.”
For the past five years Olmstead had a production deal with Warner Horizon and has produced projects under her Grady Girl banner. She served as the executive producer on the Bravo/UCP pilot, “Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce” with Marti Noxon and has sold several television and film projects including the Lifetime pilot “The Lottery.” Her previous credits include “Saturday Night Live,” “The Jon Stewart Show,” “The Tiger Woods Story,” and director Jessica Yu’s feature documentary, “The Living Museum.”
She had also served as vice president of development and original programming at MTV.
During Rothstein’s tenure with UCP, he has worked on several USA Network hits, including “Psych,” “Covert Affairs” and “Monk,” among many others. Previously, he was the senior vice president of Cable Programming at Universal Media Studios where he supervised the development and production of the studio’s cable shows including, “Warehouse 13” and “Caprica.” Rothstein also supervised production on “Battlestar Galactica” and “Eureka.”