3:30pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Fox Head of Casting Tess Sanchez Departs
Fox Entertainment is losing its head of casting.
Tess Sanchez, who has been with the company for more than a decade, has departed the independent broadcast network. Her last day was Monday.
Sanchez most recently served as exec vp casting for the network, having cast series including Fox's Empire, Grease Live, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Gotham and The Mindy Project. She joined Fox in 2009 and was promoted to leading the network's talent efforts in 2011. Sanchez's role will not be replaced. Instead, Brittainy Roberts will now run the network's casting department, reporting directly to Fox Entertainment boss Michael Thorn. VP casting Roberts, who joined Fox in 2009, previously reported directly to Sanchez (who in turn reported to Thorn).
The decision arrives as production — and by extension, casting — have come ground to a stop in the U.S. on scripted series amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. Fox's fall schedule is lined with such "gently used" acquired programming including Spectrum's L.A's Finest and National Geographic's Cosmos as the network opted to push the return of original comedies and dramas to 2021.
What's more, Fox's overall live-action scripted volume continues to dwindle as the independent broadcast network bets heavily on sports (MLB, NFL, wrestling) and animation. This year, the network greenlit only eight total pilots, all of which are expected to film in the fall once the guilds and studios establish new safety protocols amid the pandemic.
Before Fox, Sanchez — who is married to former New Girl star Max Greenfield — came from the independent casting world, and previously spent eight years as a vp at the WB Network-turned-CW.