Gruen producer appointed ABC Head of Entertainment

2014-02-13_1654Gruen co-creator / producer Jon Casimir has been appointed ABC TV’s new Head of Entertainment.

He replaces Jennifer Collins who departed in November.

Casimir is currently an executive producer with Cordell Jigsaw Zapruder, working on the second season of Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery.

Casimir began his career as a journalist with music magazine RAM, moving to Encore and then spent 17 years at the Sydney Morning Herald as senior writer, critic and editor.

It was Andrew Denton who lured him to produce on Enough Rope with Andrew Denton. At Zapruder’s Other Films his credits have included: producer and writer on feature documentary God on My Side; producer on Elders; script editor and chief of staff on Hungry Beast; co-creator and head writer/series producer on Randling, co-creator/pilot writer on The Joy of Sets for Nine; and executive producer on Can Of Worms for Network TEN.

Richard Finlayson, ABC TV’s Director of Television, said, “We’re delighted that ABC TV can attract someone of Jon’s calibre to this position. He brings with him a wealth of entertainment creation and production experience, having already been responsible for some of the ABC TV’s most successful entertainment programs.”

Casimir added, “Having spent the last decade in a de facto relationship with the ABC, I am glad we’ve finally made it to the altar. I’m joining a network that I love, a network with a commitment to quality, creativity and risk-taking, three ideas under siege in media these days. It’s probably trowelling it on to say this, but it’s a genuine honour to be asked to work for one of Australia’s greatest institutions.”

Sophia Zachariou, who has been acting Head of Entertainment, has been appointed Deputy Head of Entertainment, overseeing the Entertainment and Non-Narrative Comedy slate. She has executive produced such titles as Agony Aunts/Uncles, Kitchen Cabinet, The Checkout, Judith Lucy’s Spiritual Journey, The Hamster Decides, Hungry Beast and Gruen Planet.

Casimir begins formally with ABC on April 8.

6 Comments:

  1. @ Victor I do not personally know Jon Casimir but I am heartened to see the ABC hire a person who has had a successful career as a journalist and writer, worked in the commercial and independent sector and has actually produced shows for the department. He will at least have a working knowledge of how the ABC works – which can often perplex people who are parachuted in. I hear a few named bandied about for this gig, but these “outsiders” ex Fremantle/Endemol/Shine type people end up running screaming from the building. The next major appointment by the Director of TV as he reinvents his team will be much more of a challenge – who will lead the drama department after the budget cuts?

  2. Randling – well produced! It was a train wreck of a show. John is capable and has done a lot of work for the ABC but perhaps it was time for someone not within the ABC clique to be appointed and able to take an objective look at the ABC’s whole entertainment programming because some of the failures have been big and expensive for the ABC. With more development, better casting and properly piloted they may have worked which seems to be the key.

  3. Randling, Hungry Beast and Can of worms were all Well produced and good quality. They also were well received by most people.

    I loved Hungry Beast… and Can of Worms always rated well.

  4. Another strong appointment by Richard Finlayson. It takes time for any new Director of Television to put “their” team in place. Richard is sending the right message to the producing community with these choices – content creators who are leaders in their field and capable of articulating a clear vision for the future commissioning requirement in their genre.

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