Chernin, Pope tune in TV

Duo taking project pitches for new production company

Related: Chernin makes the transition

He is the president and COO of News Corp. until June 30, but Peter Chernin already is hanging the "open for business" sign on his News Corp.-based production company.

Chernin and top TV-lieutenant-to-be Katherine Pope have been taking meetings at the top talent agencies, touting their company and inviting them to pitch projects.

Chernin is launching the production shingle as part of his exit from News Corp.

Pope, who stepped down as president of Universal Media Studios in December as part of an NBC executive shake-up, is the process of finalizing her deal to head the Chernin company's TV division.

It is understood that Chernin's TV deal is similar in scope and structure to the pact David E. Kelley once had with 20th Century Fox TV that gave him complete autonomy, creative control, a seven-figure revolving development fund and episodic commitments.

Chernin should know a thing or two about Kelley's deal; he headed the studio when the producer's original pact was made and oversaw 20th TV for all renewals.

In meetings with agents, Chernin and Pope have noted the multiple series commitments with big penalties behind them that the company has secured.

Although it is early for the duo to begin signing talent, Pope could try to lure some of the writers she worked with at UMS, and Chernin is rumored to be looking to bring big feature names to TV.