Lindman set to shepherd MTV's N net

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Sarah Tomassi Lindman has been tapped to head the N, MTV Networks' nighttime network for teens, where she will lead a newly named executive programming team.

In addition, the network has picked up the drama series "South of Nowhere" for a third season and is launching its first-ever online multiplayer game, called "Trendetta," which allows users to compete and chat in real time.

As senior vp and general manager of the N, Lindman will be responsible for running the day-to-day operations, including on-air programming, online content, scheduling and marketing and working with MTV Networks' affiliate sales organization on the channel's distribution rollout.

Lindman, who was vp production and programming at the N, replaces Tom Ascheim, who was executive vp/general manager and now serves as executive vp/general manager at Nickelodeon Television. Lindman, who reports to Ascheim, previously held posts at sister network Noggin, Kids' WB! and Warner Bros. Animation.

She will oversee a newly named executive programming team that includes Amy Friedman, who has been named senior vp/creative director of original programming after serving as senior vp development/creative director at Nickelodeon Digital Television; Melinda Fishman, who joins the network as vp current series after serving as a freelance media consultant; and Meeri Park Cunniff, who was upped to vp programming from executive director.

Lindman said her goal is to ramp up production, with more original content on-air and online, and is especially looking at comedy series projects. She also wants to draw in more viewers outside the network's target 13-19 demo.

"We've done a great job superserving the teen audience, but I'm looking forward to inviting in a larger and broader audience that is interested in celebrating the teen experience," she said. "We'll continue to tell teen stories from the teen point of view, but the brand is something that celebrates the teen in all of us. It's about going back and reliving that experience for people who are nostalgic about this time in their lives."

Meanwhile, Lindman said that "Trendetta" combines multiplayer game play, social networking and popular culture — three interests of the network's target demo.

In the game, launching at The-N.com on Monday, players will square off against each other to control the whims of public opinion and promote their favorite trends, fashions, musicians and celebrities using word-of-mouth, TV, the Internet and celebrity endorsement. Lindman noted that the-N.com had its best month ever in December with 2.1 million unique visitors.

Meanwhile, "Nowhere" is going into production on a 16-episode third season in the spring, with a debut targeted for the fourth quarter. The drama, from creator/executive producer Tom Lynch, centers on a family whose lives are changed when they move from Ohio to Los Angeles, where they find themselves unprepared for the fast-paced, metropolitan environment.

The N, which airs every day from 6 p.m.-6 a.m. ET, now has a total of five series in production, including "Nowhere"; "Degrassi: The Next Generation"; "Beyond the Break"; "Instant Star," whose third season debuts at 8:30 p.m. ET on Friday; and the upcoming drama "The Best Years," premiering in June.

Also in the works are the upcoming drama "What Goes On," debuting in the fourth quarter, and "Halls of Fame," the first-ever TV project from rapper Chris "Ludacris" Bridges.
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