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Multihyphenate J.J. Abrams has rounded out the management team at his Bad Robot production company. The outfit announced the appointments of former Kopelson Entertainment executive Sherryl Clark and former Paramount Network TV executive Kathy Lingg to run its film and television divisions, respectively.
In addition, Athena Wickham and Ben Sokolowski have been promoted from assistants to creative executives. Bad Robot also has acquired a building in the Santa Monica business district. Abrams said he expects the company to move into its new offices by the summer.
“It’s an incredibly cool space — it’ll be a very creative space for our film and TV people, and it’s near a lot of other entertainment stuff in Santa Monica,” Abrams said. “We are so excited.”
The activity at Bad Robot comes five months after Abrams inked mammoth $60 million development deals for film and TV with Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. Television, respectively (HR 7/17). At the time, Abrams stressed that he and producing partner Bryan Burk intended to launch Bad Robot into a the major leagues as a production entity.
Abrams said he did not have a previous working relationship with Clark or Lingg but felt a sense of creative simpatico with them after their first meetings. Lingg had been recommended to him years ago when he was looking for a creative executive.
“I could not be luckier to find two people who have great relationships with writers, great taste in material,” Abrams said. “Sometimes when you meet someone, you just know you can trust them, and I felt that right away with both Kathy and Sherryl.”
Abrams said the company already has a number of projects in the hopper at Paramount and Warner Bros. TV. He is actively working on a new “Star Trek” feature for Paramount, though it is still to be determined whether he will take the helm as director. In TV, Bad Robot’s plate already is full with the ABC series “Lost,” “What About Brian” and “Six Degrees,” which struggled in its fall debut.
Clark joins Bad Robot from Kopelson, where she was president of production. During her tenure, she worked on the features “Don’t Say a Word” and “Twisted” and developed the upcoming New Line Cinema release “Killing on Carnival Row” and the remake of “Strangers on a Train” for Warner Bros. Earlier in her career, Clark worked at Touchstone Pictures, Jacobson Co. and Mario Kassar’s MK Prods.
Lingg spent 10 years at Paramount Network TV, rising to executive vp drama before leaving the studio in 2004. During her tenure, she helped develop such series as HBO’s “Deadwood,” CBS’ “NCIS” and “JAG,” ABC’s “Philly” and Showtime’s “Soul Food.” Before Paramount, Lingg worked as senior vp production at TriStar Pictures.
Wickham has been with Bad Robot since 2004, working as an assistant to Abrams. Sokolowski joined Bad Robot after graduating from USC.
Abrams and Bad Robot are repped by WMA and attorneys Jim Jackoway and Alan Wertheimer.
Cynthia Littleton contributed to this report.
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