Tom Nunan Quits UPN Executive Job

By Caillan
June 12, 2001 - 1:53 PM

Tom Nunan, UPN entertainment president, is set to make a mutual and amicable departure from the network after four years.

The man who has overseen the development of new series such as The Dead Zone and Enterprise, as well as the acquisition of Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Roswell will leave the network by the summer. Nunan felt that there was no more room to advance at UPN, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Nunan, UPN's second entertainment president, had been discussing his imminent departure with Dean Valentine, UPN president, since March. However, they decided to post-phone any decision until after the network's upfront presentation. The development coincides with the expiration of Nunan's contract, although he is expected to remain in his position for a few weeks in order to help Valentine choose a successor. At this stage, it is not known whether he will remain within the Viacom family.

When he joined the network, Nunan, together with Valentine, attempted to present UPN as a network for middle-class America, a strategy that failed to attract viewers, and consequently, advertisers. The appropriation of WWF Smackdown! caused a strong shift in their outlook towards the coveted young male demographic. The combination of Enterprise, together with The Dead Zone, Roswell and Buffy may represent a shift towards a more genre-orientated audience.

In October 1997, Nunan joined UPN as executive vice-president of programming, replacing outgoing executive, Mike Sullivan. In June 1998, Valentine announced Nunan's appointment as entertainment president at an affiliates meeting, without letting Nunan know of his intentions. Prior to UPN, Nunan worked as the head of NBC Studios, and executive vice-president of prime-time development at Fox.

Further information can be found in this Hollywood Reporter article and this Reuters/Variety report.

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