Jeff Kleeman to run Big Kid

Executive tapped for experience launching tentpoles

David Dobkin has tapped longtime production exec Jeff Kleeman to run his Warner Bros.-based Big Kid Pictures shingle.

Dobkin chose Kleeman for the post because of the executive's experience in launching tentpoles, as well as his experience writing and creating comedy. Kleeman will help develop features of the tentpole, comedy and animated variety, as well as television projects.

Kleeman comes to Big Kid from MGM/UA, where he held was exec vp motion picture production since September. That was actually Kleeman's second stint at MGM/UA. He first joined the company in 1993 and was responsible for overseeing a new phase of the James Bond franchise with "GoldenEye," "Tomorrow Never Dies" and "The World Is Not Enough." He also oversaw the development and production of "Rob Roy," "Hackers" and "The Thomas Crown Affair."

Kleeman began his career in 1987 as a production exec at Paramount, working on such movies as "Internal Affairs," "The Hunt for Red October" and "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country." He also did a stint at Francis Ford Coppola's American Zoetrope, where as vp production he worked on "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein" and "Haunted" and on the TV miniseries "Titanic" and "Kidnapped."

Prior to returning to MGM/UA in 2007, Kleeman created, wrote and served as showrunner on "Misconceptions," a multicamera sitcom from the WB and Imagine Television.

Big Kid has a three-year, first-look deal with Warners and produced, along with Silver Pictures, the Dobkin-directed comedy "Fred Claus." The company's current development slate includes "Skulduggery Pleasant," "Fratboy" and "Cecelia," from writers Judd Apatow and Lew Morton.