Mark Stern has been named president of SyFy’s original programming, said Dave Howe, president of NBCU’s SyFy and Chiller. Stern also continues to serve as co-head of original content for Universal Cable Productions, and he will have creative oversight of the recently formed SyFy Films, which is a joint venture with Universal Pictures.
Stern has been at SyFy since 2002, and was named executive vice president in 2003. While at the network, he’s developed such programs as Battlestar Galactica, Stargate: Atlantis, Eureka, Ghost Hunters, Destination Truth, Ghost Hunters International, Sanctuary, Tin Man, Warehouse 13, Stargate: Universe, Caprica and Haven. (It may surprise you to know that Warehouse 13, not Battlestar Galactica, is the channel’s most successful series ever. It surprised me.)
He’s been co-head of original content for Universal Cable Productions since 2008, and in this position he works with USA’s Jeff Wachtel to produce content for both SyFy and USA. The studio also produces content for non-NBCU –owned cable nets, including MTV and Lifetime. UCP also has development deals in place with AMC, A&E and Oxygen.
Stern joined SyFy after 15 years at Trilogy Entertainment Group, where he was partner and president of the company’s TV division. There, he helped produced more than 300 hours of programming, including CBS’ The Magnificent Seven, ABC’s mini-series Peter Benchley’s Creature, NBC’s remake of Steven King’s Carrie and UPN’s The Twilight Zone with Forest Whitaker. He started at Trilogy in 1987 and was named director of development in 1989; vice president of development in 1991; SVP of production in 1994; EVP of production in 1995; president of television in 1997; and partner in 1999.
Stern graduated from Dartmouth College, and worked as a literary agent’s assistant when he first came to Los Angeles.
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Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.