6:00pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Universal TV Exec VP Drama Russell Rothberg Exits
The shake-up at Universal Television continues.
Executive vp drama development Russell Rothberg has exited the studio, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Sources say Rothberg, whose contract was due to expire in March 2017, was planning to leave then but given the studio's new regime, opted to exit early given the restructuring ahead of the upcoming buying season. The split is said to be amicable.
The executive, whose last day was Thursday, joined the studio in 2009 and previously served as senior vp drama programming at NBC and UTV predecessor Universal Media Studios. During his time with the studio, Rothberg helped developed A&E's Bates Motel, NBC's Chicago Fire and Jennifer Lopez drama Shades of Blue. His more recent credits include NBC's Emerald City and freshman Midnight, Texas as well as CBS' redeveloped Jason Katims drama Pure Genius.
Before coming to UTV, Rothberg was vp current programming at Fox, where he developed series including House, Bones, American Dad and The Sarah Connor Chronicles during his stint from 2003-08. The exec was a writer's assistant at UPN in 1998 and was a scriptwriter who wrote two pilots as well as an episode of Legacy.
For UTV, Rothberg's departure comes as the studio recently saw former NBC head of drama Pearlena Igbokwe replace Bela Bajaria as president of NBC's studio counterpart. Bajaria exited the studio following a five-year run after what sources say was an inability to effectively supply NBC with scripted originals from its studio as broadcast networks continue to put an emphasis on owning their programming.