BermanBraun taps Kaplan as TV head

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Gail Berman and Lloyd Braun have made the first major executive hire for their recently launched production company, tapping Warner Bros. TV's Rachel Kaplan as head of scripted series for BermanBraun's television division.

Kaplan will join BermanBraun, which has a first-look deal with NBC Universal Television, after her current contract with WBTV expires at the end of May.

Braun said there was an instant connection when he and Berman met with Kaplan.

"She has all of the qualities we were hoping to find in an executive and a person," he said. "She has fantastic relationships in the creative community, among agents and among networks, especially NBC. She's honed her development skills during the past several years working at a terrific studio, Warner Bros. She has an enormous amount of passion and shares our desire to engage in the highest quality of programming, yet she has a keen commercial eye. She is also a delightful person and a pleasure to work with."

Braun said he and Berman already are talking to writers and are looking to take projects out as early as possible in the summer, taking advantage of the year-round development cycles at the networks.

Shortly after its February launch, BermanBraun inked a three-year, first-look deal with NBC Uni TV to provide content for all of NBC Uni's television and digital platforms (HR 2/6).

In addition to the TV division, which also is in the process of hiring an unscripted development executive, BermanBraun is planning to launch new-media and feature film arms by year's end.

Kaplan serves as vp in WBTV's drama development department, headed by senior vp Susan Rovner.

Kaplan joined WBTV in 2002 and was upped to vp in 2004. During her tenure at the studio, she has worked with such production companies Jerry Bruckheimer TV and John Wells Prods. and with such writers as Josh Schwartz, Hank Steinberg, Greg Berlanti and Jenny Bicks.

She was involved in shepherding the development of such series as ABC's "Men in Trees," FX's "Dirt," CBS' "Close to Home" and Fox's "The O.C."

Before Warner Bros., Kaplan held executive positions at Brookline Prods., Broker-Bronte Prods. and 20th Century Fox.
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