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A&E One Step Closer to New Original Series

A&E Network has tapped veteran development executive Scott Vila as vp original programming, a move that builds on the channel's recently announced plans to develop original scripted drama series.

In his new role, Vila is based in Los Angeles, reporting to Tana Nugent Jamieson, the former WB Network senior programming executive who was named senior vp drama programming at the cable network in March. His appointment was effective Monday.

Vila's experience includes serving as senior vp drama development at 20th Century Fox Television, a role he held until 2002, when he segued into a producing career that included serving as executive producer on NBC's 2004-05 drama "Medical Investigation."

"Scott's producing skills and his time at the studio made him a sure fit for us," Nugent Jamieson said. "He has great relationships in town, and people love him. He's creative, fair and thoughtful."

His first order of business will be to take pitches and read scripts as part of the network's effort to "home in on our first wave of purchases," Nugent Jamieson said. She declined to divulge details about any projects already under consideration other than to say that she expects to go into development within "a short period of time ... sooner rather than later."

A&E said in March that it would be developing an original scripted drama series. At the time, A&E executive vp and general manager Bob DeBitetto said he hoped to have a series ready to premiere sometime next year, taking advantage of the "powerful platforms" of acquired series "CSI: Miami," premiering on A&E in the fall, and "The Sopranos," debuting in January.

Vila joined 20th TV in 1999 as vp drama and rose through the ranks. During his tenure, he was instrumental in the development of such 20th TV series as "24," "Boston Public" and "Dark Angel." He also was involved in the production of some of the studio's most successful series, including "The Practice," "The X-Files" and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."

Before joining 20th TV, Vila was at Paramount Network Television, most recently as vp drama development, helping to develop shows including "Now and Again." As a current programming executive at Paramount, he oversaw such series as "JAG" and "Star Trek: Voyager."

In addition, Vila was head of the Firm's TV production operation, where his credits included producing "The Simple Life."


Kimberly Nordyke writes for The Hollywood Reporter.

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