20th Century Fox TV Ups Jonathan Davis to Oversee Comedy Development

5:00 PM PST 07/25/2011 by Lacey Rose
Jonathan Davis

Exec is promoted after helping to develop shows like "Modern Family" and newcomer "New Girl.”

Twentieth Century Fox TV has elevated Jonathan Davis to executive vice president of comedy development.

The news comes a week and a half after Jennifer Nicholson Salke announced she'd be leaving 20th for the entertainment president gig at NBC. While the role will be narrower in scope --Salke oversaw comedy and drama-- it is a vote of confidence for Davis after a three-year tenure as SVP of the division. During that stint, Davis helped oversee development of ABC's Modern Family and Fox's Raising Hope as well as upcoming comedies New Girl, Apartment 23 and Last Man Standing.

"He has a spectacular eye for the next big idea or undiscovered writer, and he is incredibly strategic in his approach to development," said studio chairman Gary Newman. "He never follows the crowd; instead he looks for what everyone else isn’t doing and goes after that. And when he locks in on an idea or a writer or a performer, there is no more passionate advocate."

Fellow chairman Dana Walden added, "He loves working with creators and is a true champion for the projects he believes in. He brings to the development process a level of enthusiasm and passion thatis contagious and the creators he works with know he will fight to protect their vision."

Prior to his stint at 20th, Davis served as vice president of comedy development at Fox, and before that as manager of reality and late night development, working on such programs as The Simple Life, Back to You, American Idol and the net's late night entry, Talk Show with Spike Feresten.

Email: Lacey.Rose@THR.com

Twitter: @LaceyVRose

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