Fontana back as head 'Philanthropist' at NBC


Tom Fontana is returning to "The Philanthropist."

In the latest change at the helm of NBC's midseason drama, Fontana has been reinstated as exec producer after being forced off the show in April because of creative differences.

David Eick, who was tapped as executive producer/showrunner after Fontana's dismissal, has exited the series. He will focus on "Caprica," the "Battlestar Galactica" prequel he developed with Ron Moore that recently was picked up to series by Sci Fi Channel.

The switch on "Philanthropist" is one of the first creative decisions made by Angela Bromstad, NBC's newly appointed president of scripted programming.

She is said to have begun working on Fontana's return while overseeing production of the series as head of NBC Uni's London-based TV production unit, where "Philanthropist" is based.

Fontana is bringing with him his writing team and will begin reworking upcoming scripts. Only the pilot of the series' 13-episode order has been shot. Peter Horton, who helmed the pilot, will continue as an exec producer.

"Philanthropist," from UMS, centers on a renegade billionaire (James Purefoy) who uses his power to help people in need.

Purefoy pulled a hamstring filming the pilot, which could lead to delays in production.(partialdiff)