Deborah Spera, Maria Grasso Launch Production Co. With Sony TV (Exclusive)
Former Mark Gordon Company TV president Deborah Spera has partnered with former Lifetime executive Maria Grasso to launch One-Two Punch Productions, which has set up a two-year pod deal at Sony Pictures Television.
The duo met shortly after Grasso took the job as head of scripted at Lifetime and began reading the pilot for Army Wives, which Spera had developed. "When Deb and I first met on Army Wives I was immediately drawn to her passion for story telling," says Grasso. "I admire her drive, savviness, and taste in material and couldn't ask for a better partner."
Spera is equally as enthusiastic about the partnership. "Maria is a trusted and well respected colleague and friend. I am excited to have a partner who shares the same passion for story and great writers," she says. "We plan on having fun and are thrilled to be at Sony where their passion for television is so evident in the shows they produce."
During Spera's seven year tenure at the Mark Gordon Co., she served as an executive producer on both Wives and CBS' Criminal Minds. The company also produces such shows as Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice. Before that, Spera spent eight years at Showtime, where she was vice president of movies, minis and series. Among her credits: The American Life, The Baby Dance and 12 Angry Men. Earlier stints include time in features at Eden Roc Pictures and New Regency Productions, where she was involved in films like What's Eating Gilbert Grape, Free Willy and JFK.
Grasso has kept a lower profile since leaving OWN, where she briefly served as senior vice president of programming on the network's initial team. (She departed in September 2009, more than a year before the now-ratings-challenged network debuted.) Prior to that, she was senior vice president of scripted series and current programming at women's network Lifetime. In addition to Wives, she was also responsible for developing Rita Rocks and Drop Dead Diva. Prior gigs include time at The WB, where she bought and developed Everwood, One Tree Hill and Supernatural, as well as Warner Bros. TV, Universal TV and Comedy Central.
Grasso is repped by WME and Hansen Jacobson; Spera is repped by WME and Myman Greenspan.