November 21, 2013 6:39pm PT by Borys Kit
Another NBC Universal Shakeup: Syfy Films Upended as Execs Exit (Exclusive)
The reorganization at NBC Universal continues.
Two weeks after Bill McGoldrick replaced Mark Stern as head of programming at NBCU's Syfy television arm, the film section -- a joint venture between Syfy and Universal -- is getting a shake-up.
Gregory Noveck, senior vp at Syfy Films, as well as director of development, Joshua Banta, are leaving as parent NBCU refocuses its plan for the division. Syfy and Universal spokespersons tell The Hollywood Reporter that the exact plans are not clear. They declined further comment.
Some SyFy Films projects are expected to remain in development at the division, while others will be put into turnaround and returned to their producers and writers.
Syfy Films was created 2010 to develop lower-budget genre films and was overseen by Stern and then-Universal chairman Adam Fogelson. Noveck came on board in 2011. While no project reached cameras, the arm's biggest coup was nabbing the screen rights to Wild Cards, a superhero anthology edited, co-created and co-written by George R.R. Martin, author of the Game of Thrones books.
Sources say Noveck is now attached as one of the producers on Wild Cards. Day 38, being produced by McG, and Beyond were other projects in development there.
Syfy Films has not had the chance to establish itself, and sometimes found itself in odd competition with Universal's slate, which includes the low-budget but high-yielding thrillers produced by Jason Blum. Some of those titles could have been in Syfy Films' wheelhouse, making the division a bit redundant.
Other factors in the shake-up might have been the recent exit of Fogelson in September and the revamping of Focus Features. That Universal division was originally an art house label, but in an October move, Focus was combined with Film District, and its mandate expanded to include movies in Syfy Films' genre portfolio.