'Access Live' Taps Maureen FitzPatrick as Executive Producer

Maureen FitzPatrick-Publicity-H 2019
Courtesy of NBCUniversal

Veteran TV executive and producer Maureen FitzPatrick is taking the reins of syndicated series Access and Access Live, replacing longtime executive producer Rob Silverstein.

FitzPatrick will serve as executive producer of both entertainment-focused shows from NBCUniversal Domestic TV Distribution.

The changes were announced Tuesday at a staff meeting for the two shows. In a memo to the crew, Silverstein, who has been with the show since its beginnings, wrote that his "vision of the show moving forward differs from the management team, so we have agreed today will be my final day as EP."

Silverstein will remain at NBCU under a first-look deal.

FitzPatrick has been at NBCU since early 2018 as a development and creative executive, serving as a consultant on both Access and Access Live and helping develop Jerry Springer's courtroom show Judge Jerry, which is set to launch in syndication in the fall.

"Maureen is an extremely talented and creative producer with extensive experience and a proven track record in navigating many different dayparts and genres," said Tracie Wilson, executive vp creative affairs at NBCU Domestic TV Distribution. "We are looking forward to her creative insight and expertise as we build upon the success of these long-standing and iconic programs."

Said FitzPatrick, "I've had a wonderful experience working with the NBCUniversal development and syndication group this past year and am honored to join the talented and hardworking Access and Access Live teams. The Access brand has become the gold standard, and I'm excited to take its legacy to the next level with innovative new ideas that give viewers even more ways to connect with all their favorite entertainment stories."

Prior to joining NBCU, FitzPatrick managed development and production for Oxygen's Crime Time pilot, and in 2017 she oversaw the launch of Daily Blast Live. Judge Judy Sheindlin tapped her to launch Hot Bench in 2014; the show became the top-rated new strip in syndication in the last decade. 

FitzPatrick was previously executive vp at CBS Television Distribution, overseeing nine syndicated series, and senior vp comedy development at Fremantle. She also has worked on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Whose Line Is It Anyway?

Access and Access Live average about 2 million viewers. The shows dropped "Hollywood" from their titles in late 2017, about a year after they played a key role in the 2016 presidential campaign — when audio from 2005 of Donald Trump making vulgar remarks about women to then-host Billy Bush surfaced.

Bush, who was with NBC's Today when the tape was released, was let go from the show soon after. He told The Hollywood Reporter in 2017 that while he's not grateful the moment happened, "I'm grateful for what I've gotten out of it. I'm grateful that it hit me all the way to my core."

Silverstein's memo to the Access staff is below.

I wanted to share some news with you.

Over the past several months we have been discussing the creative direction of Access and Access Live. My vision of the show moving forward differs from the management team, so we have agreed today will be my final day as EP.

I leave behind a legacy of success for which I am immensely proud. As you know, I have been with Access for more than two decades, and together we have built a brand that is the gold-standard in entertainment storytelling.

As I move on to my next adventure, I want to thank this extraordinary team that has always been willing to go above and beyond to produce countless hours of quality programming. I wish you all great success.