11:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Sara Gilbert, Tom Werner Launch Joint Production Company
Sara Gilbert and Tom Werner are reteaming for a new venture.
The longtime Roseanne/The Conners duo are launching sara + tom, their own joint production company.
The new banner extends Gilbert and Werner's more than 25-year relationship that dates back to the original Roseanne, ABC's revival and the subsequent spinoff, The Conners. To hear the duo tell it, the goal of the company will be to "get something on TV that makes you laugh and cry."
sara + tom will be overseen by Mandy Summers, who will serve as head of development and production. "I am thrilled to be working with someone as kind and brilliant as Tom," said Gilbert, who hinted at her interest in development during a Creative Space interview with The Hollywood Reporter last year. "When I was a kid, he was the guy behind the scenes making it all happen. It’s truly a dream to call him my partner, and I look forward to making impactful, funny and moving content together."
Werner's Carsey-Werner banner, which he ran for decades with partner Marcy Carsey, will continue to produce The Conners. Carsey opted to not be involved with the Roseanne reboot and subsequent spinoff.
"Sara is one of the most creative people I have ever worked with," Werner said. "I have admired her and loved her since she came into my office and crushed the reading of the role Darlene in Roseanne. She is as creative a talent behind the camera as in front of it. I'm grateful that she is partnering with me to create new content, and I hope the next three decades together is as fruitful as the last three."
The new company arrives as Gilbert continues to focus on other projects since departing CBS' The Talk. She stars on and executive produces ABC's The Conners, which will grow its season two order to nearly a full season after a short 13-episode freshman run.
For Summers' part, she joins sara + tom after serving as head of Nahnatchka Khan's formerly 20th TV-based Fierce Baby Productions banner. Before that, Summers had been with 20th TV since 2003, last serving as vp current programing.
"We are so excited to have Mandy as part of our team," Warner and Gilbert said in a joint statement. "We value her extensive experience, intelligence and passion for discovering and championing great writers. Most important, she shares our mission to support dynamic and unique voices."