Tom Fontana a 'Philanthropist' again

Returning to NBC's midseason drama after being let go

Tom Fontana is returning to "The Philanthropist."

In the latest change at the helm of NBC's midseason drama, Fontana has been reinstated as exec producer after being forced off the show in April.

David Eick, who was tapped as executive producer/showrunner after Fontana's dismissal, has exited the show. He will focus on "Caprica," the "Battlestar Galactica" prequel he developed with Ron Moore that recently was picked up to series by Sci Fi Channel.

The switch on "Philanthropist" is one of the first creative decisions made by Angela Bromstad, NBC's newly appointed president of scripted programming.

She is said to have begun working on Fontana's return while overseeing the production of the series as head of NBC Uni's London-based TV production unit, where "Philanthropist" is based.

Fontana is bringing with him his writing team and will begin reworking upcoming scripts. Only the pilot of the series' 13-episode order has been shot.

Peter Horton, who helmed the pilot, will continue as an exec producer alongside Fontana.

"Philanthropist," from UMS, centers on a renegade billionaire (James Purefoy) who uses his wealth, connections and power to help people in need. During the filming of the pilot, Purefoy pulled a hamstring and is being evaluated by a doctor. His injury could lead to a delay in production.

Fontana exited the series after a high-profile fallout with NBC brass over the show's creative direction. He wanted to focus on such social issues as immigration, drug addiction and the use of children soldiers in parts of world, while the network was looking for a more escapist and fantastical approach.
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