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CBS rejigs entertainment as Geller exits

Glenn Geller

Glenn Geller

US broadcaster CBS has upped Kelly Kahl to president of entertainment and drafted in The CW exec Thom Sherman, with Glenn Geller set to exit.

Kahl has been upped from senior executive VP of CBS Primetime, a role she has held since 2005.

Sherman, who joins from CBS’s part-owned network The CW later this week, will become senior EVP of programming, reporting to Kahl, who in turn reports directly to CBS chairman and CEO LesMoonves.

Meanwhile, Geller is in talks with CBS Television Studios over a production deal.

He has been on medical leave after suffering a heart attack earlier this year, with Moonves at that point asking other senior CBS entertainment execs to “step up” instead of immediately appointing a replacement.

Geller had replaced Nina Tassler in September 2015.

“We have great respect for Glenn’s many accomplishments and his tireless efforts over 16 years at CBS – both at the network and our studio,” said Moonves. “He’s a smart programmer and loves the creative process, and we look forward to working with him in his new role.”

Kahl has been with CBS for 21 years, and has played a major part in the Eye Network’s strong primetime schedule, which includes series such as NCIS and Criminal Minds, for more than a decade.

He has successfully scheduled series such as Survivor, NCIS, Everybody Loves Raymond, The Big Bang Theory, Blue Bloods and The Good Wife, and has had scheduling oversight at The CW, which CBS co-owns with Warner Bros.

CBS has been the number US network in terms of viewers for 14 of the past 15 seasons, including nine straight.

Kahl had joined CBS in 1996 after three years at Warner, and prior to that worked a LorimarTelevision (before it merged with the Burbank studio).

Sherman is currently EVP at The CW, where he had led development and had oversight of primetime programming. Series launched during his tenure include Arrow, The Vampire Diaries, Gossip Girl, The Flash and Jane the Virgin, plus unscripted shows such as Whose Line is it Anyway? and Penn & Teller: Fool Us.

Between 2004 and 2006, he worked at J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions and before that spend eight years at CBS rival ABC.

“This is a dynamic, talented and very experienced executive team to lead a division that will create the next generation of hits for CBS,” said Moonves.

“Kelly has been part of my team since he was an intern at Lorimar 27 years ago,” added the CBS chief. “He has a brilliant programming mind, sharp business acumen and great analytical skills for our evolving television audience. “He is also highly respected by his colleagues at CBS and our key external stakeholders, and he knows how to make all parts of the network work together to form a winning team.

“Through our work at The CW, I’ve had a front-row seat to see Thom’s outstanding creative instincts and programming vision inaction.

“He has developed and nurtured an incredible roster of critically acclaimed, commercially successful and fan favorite shows for The CW and other companies.”