Regency TV closing up shop

Company was founded in 1998

By Nellie Andreeva and Kimberly Nordyke

Regency Television, the company behind Fox's "Malcolm In the Middle," is shutting its doors.

Industry observers had been speculating about the future of the company, a joint venture between New Regency and Fox TV Studios, for some time.

Last month Regency TV president Robin Schwartz left her post to serve in the same capacity at OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, a joint venture with Discovery Communications debuting in second-half 2009.

The boutique company, founded in 1998, has no series on the air and hasn't had a hit show in some time. Its most recent credits included Fox's short-lived drama "New Amsterdam" and the comedy "The Return of Jezebel James." In its early days under Gail Berman and then Peter Aronson, the company had a hot streak with "Malcolm," "The Bernie Mac Show" and "Roswell."

Meanwhile, FtvS has made great strides in cable TV with such hits as "Burn Notice" and "Saving Grace." The company also has recently shifted its scripted series focus to co-productions with international broadcasters.

Additionally, the closing of Regency TV is believed to be related to the recent top executive changes at parent company New Regency.

In May, Hutch Parker became New Regency chairman, a post he shares with Robert Harper.

Regency TV's executives, including senior vp Stephanie Levine and vp Andrea Shay, were notified of the company shutdown Thursday afternoon.

The future of the few projects there is up in the air, with moving them to 20th Century Fox TV or reverting the rights to their creators as possible options.