We don’t typically post news about executive changes and promotions, but Syfy programming has frequently been a big discussion topic.
via press release:
MARK STERN NAMED PRESIDENT SYFY ORIGINAL PROGRAMMING
LOS ANGELES – January 13, 2010 – Mark Stern was named President, Original Programming, Syfy, it was announced today by Dave Howe, President, Syfy and Chiller, to whom he reports. Stern also serves as co-head, original content, Universal Cable Productions, and will now have creative oversight on the newly formed Syfy Films, a joint venture with Universal Pictures.
“Mark is a supremely smart and talented executive, whose unbridled passion, energy and imagination continue to drive Syfy’s world class development team,” said Howe. “He’s an incredibly creative and business savvy leader who’s widely respected throughout the industry.”
A former television producer, since joining Syfy in 2002 (he was named EVP in 2003), Stern has been the creative architect behind Syfy’s numerous water cooler programming including Battlestar Galactica, Stargate: Atlantis, Eureka, Ghost Hunters, Destination Truth, Ghost Hunters International, Sanctuary, the record-breaking miniseries Tin Man, as well as Warehouse 13 (the most successful series in channel history), Stargate: Universe and the critically acclaimed series Caprica and Haven.
Continuing to expand the brand, Syfy launched its first ever Thursday night reality bloc this season, featuring Fact or Faked and the upcoming Hollywood Treasure and Marcel’s Quantum Kitchen, along with the new scripted series Being Human in January and a strong roster of popular original movies.
During his tenure, Stern has forged partnerships with an all-star cast of top industry talent in front of and behind the cameras including Bryan Singer and Dean Devlin (The Triangle), Gail Berman & Lloyd Braun (Alphas), David Straithairn (Alphas), Jeffrey Reiner (Caprica), Jace Alexander (Warehouse 13), Edward James Olmos and Mary McDonnell (Battlestar Galactica), Eric Stoltz and Esai Morales (Caprica), Richard Dreyfus, Alan Cumming and Zooey Deschanel (Tin Man), Isabella Rosellini (Riverworld), Lou Diamond Phillips (Stargate Universe), Julianna Margulies and Peter Krause (The Lost Room), and Tracy Morgan (Scare Tactics).
Under his leadership, Syfy programming has garnered nearly 25 Emmy nominations over the past few years as well as the 2009 TCA Program of the Year for Battlestar Galactica. That seminal series also received the 2005 Peabody Award.
As Co-Head, Original Content for Universal Cable Productions (he was promoted to this position in 2008) along with Jeff Wachtel, UCP produces content for both Syfy and USA – with the first two projects (Warehouse 13 and Royal Pains) hits for their respective networks – as well as programming for networks outside the NBC organization. The studio recently announced pilot pickups with MTV and Lifetime, plus development deals with AMC, A&E and Oxygen.
Stern joined Syfy following a 15-year tenure at Trilogy Entertainment Group. As a partner and president of its television division, he amassed a strong track record of original movies and series production, most especially in the science fiction arena. Among the over 300 hours of television production he has been involved in, Stern executive produced the long-running, award-winning series The Outer Limits, two seasons of The Magnificent Seven for CBS, the highly-rated ABC miniseries Peter Benchley’s Creature, the three-hour NBC movie event Carrie, UPN’s The Twilight Zone, and Breaking News for Bravo. Additionally, Stern wrote numerous episodes of both The Outer Limits and Poltergeist: The Legacy, a series he also executive produced.
After graduating from Dartmouth College, Stern was a literary agent’s assistant at Los Angeles-based Writers and Artists Agency. He joined Trilogy in July 1987 and was promoted to Director of Development in December 1989. Closely involved in the development of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Stern was promoted to Vice President of Development in April 1991. He supervised the development and production of the classic science fiction anthology series The Outer Limits through its 154 episode run and was upped to Senior Vice President of Production at Trilogy in the spring of 1994, then to Executive Vice President of Production in February 1995, to President of Television in 1997, and became a partner in Trilogy Entertainment in 1999.
About Syfy Films
Syfy extends its commitment to deliver high quality imagination based genre entertainment with the launch of Syfy Films, a joint venture with Universal Pictures. With development commencing in 2011, the new entity will leverage Syfy’s genre expertise to produce original theatrical releases from the worlds of science-fiction, fantasy, supernatural and horror. Beginning in 2012, Syfy Films plans to release two pictures annually.
About Universal Cable Productions
Universal Cable Productions creates quality content across multiple media platforms for USA, Syfy and other networks. A leader in innovative and critically acclaimed programming, UCP is the studio behind USA’s Royal Pains, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Psych, In Plain Sight, Covert Affairs and Fairly Legal, along with Syfy‘s Eureka, Warehouse 13 and Alphas. The studio also produced both long-running series Monk and Battlestar Galactica, as well as the series Caprica. UCP is a division of NBC Universal.
Syfy is a media destination for imagination-based entertainment. With year round acclaimed original series, events, blockbuster movies, classic science fiction and fantasy programming, a dynamic Web site (www.Syfy.com), and a portfolio of adjacent business (Syfy Ventures), Syfy is a passport to limitless possibilities. Originally launched in 1992 as SCI FI Channel, and currently in more than 98 million homes, Syfy is a network of NBC Universal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies. (Syfy. Imagine greater.)