Pakosta atop Ferguson's Mountain

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"The Late Late Show" host Craig Ferguson has launched a production company, Green Mountain West Inc., and tapped former WB Network comedy co-head Tracey Pakosta to run it.

The company has entered an overall deal with CBS Paramount Network TV that includes a first-look component for sister network CBS, which carries Ferguson's late-night show.

Under the one-year deal, which has an option for a second, Ferguson and Pakosta will develop comedy projects for CBS Par TV, with CBS getting first crack at them.

Ferguson said expanding into producing TV series was a natural extension of his job as a host of a late-night talk show.

"You meet everybody," he said. "You get to see every actor who is doing stuff, and you get to see the younger comedians on their way up. That is a natural symbiosis."

Ferguson said he draws inspiration from CBS' other late-night host, veteran David Letterman, whose production company Worldwide Pants has a strong track record producing such series as "Everybody Loves Raymond," "Ed" and Ferguson's show.

Ferguson has producing experience on the feature side with the indies "Saving Grace" and "The Big Tease," which he also co-wrote and starred in.

For his plunge into TV producing, he met with several executives before choosing Pakosta.

"We had the same kind of sensibility," Ferguson said. "We've both reached a point in our lives where we want to work on stuff that is creatively inspiring."

Pakosta is a 10-year WB veteran. She started at the network in 1995 as executive assistant to then-executive vp Susanne Daniels and rose through the ranks to co-executive vp comedy programming, running the network's comedy department with Mike Clements. She oversaw the development of such series as "Reba," "Blue Collar TV" and "What I Like About You." Following Clements' departure in summer 2005, Pakosta was exec vp comedy and alternative for the WB.

Ferguson is repped by Endeavor.
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