UTA ups two agents to partner

Both began careers in agency's training program

Motion picture literary agent Jason Burns and alternative TV agent Brett Hansen, both longtime UTA agents who began their careers at the agency, have been promoted to the UTA Partnership.

A native Californian, Burns began his career at Smith Barney in the stock broker training program. In 1997, he left the investment firm to pursue his interest in the entertainment industry, entering UTA's Agent Training Program. In June 2000, Burns was promoted to agent in the motion picture literary department, where he has spent the past decade representing both established and up-and-coming filmmakers and screenwriters.

Burns' clients include Ruben Fleischer, Phil Lord & Chris Miller, Chris Gorak, Josh Zetumer, Scott Z. Burns, Oliver Hirschbiegel, Phil Johnston, John Hlavin and David Callaham.

A product of UTA's Agent Training Program, which he joined in 1999, Hansen rose through the agency ranks, working for such agents as former UTA television partner Sue Naegle and UTA co-founder Peter Benedek. In 2001, Hansen was promoted to agent in the TV literary department, and in 2004 made the transition to the alternative television department.

Hansen reps many creators and producers working in unscripted broadcast and cable television. They include Bryan Cranston ("Breaking Bad"), SallyAnn Salsano ("Jersey Shore"), Bob Harper ("The Biggest Loser"), Todd Lubin ("The Biggest Loser") Rob Wade ("Dancing with the Stars"), Greg Johnston ("Newlyweds") and Tijuana Entertainment ("Is She Really Going Out With Him?" on MTV).

"Jason and Brett are two of the best agents working in the entertainment industry today," the UTA board of directors said Thursday in a joint statement. "Since joining UTA, they have been standard bearers of the agency's core values, and their efforts have contributed significantly not only to the success of our esteemed clients, but also the agency overall."

Reflecting UTA's long tradition of growing agents from the mailroom to the top echelons of the tenpercentery, Burns and Hansen each got their start there. The promotion of Hansen and Burns also reflects the growth of UTA, which has noticeably expanded its partner and agent ranks and client roster during the past 18 months.

Burns and Hansen become the 23rd and 24th partners at the agency, joining a partnership composed of Jim Berkus, Peter Benedek, Tracey Jacobs, David Kramer, Jay Sures, Jeremy Zimmer, Jeremy Barber, Michael Camacho, Andrew Cannava, Dan Erlij, Wayne Fitterman, Lisa Jacobson, Rich Klubeck, Blair Kohan, Billy Lazarus, Theresa Peters, Steve Rabineau, Matt Rice, Shani Rosenzweig, Larry Salz, Howard Sanders and Julien Thuan.

UTA now has more than 100 agents, 24 partners and a six-member board of directors.