Gail Berman (born August 17, 1956) is an American producer and television executive. She is co-owner and founding partner of The Jackal Group, a production entity formed in partnership with Fox Networks Group. The Jackal Group develops and produces scripted, unscripted and factual entertainment programming for FNG's channels, including Fox Broadcasting Company, FX/FXX, the National Geographic Channels, and Fox International Channels. The partnership also provides for opportunities in digital and film, as well as for non-21st Century Fox distribution entities.
|Born||August 17, 1956|
|Education||B.A. University of Maryland|
|Known for||Cancelling Firefly|
Berman was born to a Jewish family in Brooklyn but the family soon moved to Bellmore, New York where she was raised. In 1974, she graduated from Abington High School and in 1978, she graduated with a B.A. in theater from the University of Maryland.
Berman graduated from the University of Maryland, where she served on the board of trustees. Berman also serves on the board of directors of the Center Theatre Group, a non-profit company that oversees the Ahmanson Theatre, the Mark Taper Forum and the Kirk Douglas Theatre. Berman is married to sitcom writer Bill Masters and they have two children.
Berman began her career as a theater producer after graduating with a bachelor's degree in theater from the University of Maryland. At 23, she and her college friend Susan Rose co-produced their first Broadway show, the original Broadway production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, which went on to garner seven Tony Award nominations. Berman’s other Broadway productions include Hurlyburly by David Rabe (1984), Athol Fugard’s Blood Knot (1985), and The Nerd by Larry Shue (1987), all of which received Tony Award nominations.
Berman served as president and CEO of production company Sandollar Television. During her six years with Sandollar, Berman also served as executive producer on the primetime series All American Girl starring Margaret Cho.
Berman next served as founding president of Regency Television, the TV studio created in 1998 as a co-venture between Fox Television Studios and New Regency Productions. Under Berman, Regency Television's programs included Malcolm in the Middle.
Then, Berman served from 2000 to 2005 as president of Entertainment for Fox Broadcasting Company. At Fox, Berman was in charge of all program development and scheduling as well as marketing, business affairs, and promotions. Network shows under Berman's tenure included American Idol, 24, House, Arrested Development, Bones, and Family Guy.
More controversial was her decision to place Firefly in the "Friday night death slot", air the episodes out of order, and then cancel the series prior to the end of its first season. Berman said, "...Joss and I had been creative partners at one time. I worked with him very closely on this particular show, and when it didn't perform... having to cancel it was very difficult."
Berman became president of Paramount Pictures in March 2005 and was responsible for the studio's annual slate of films, including the acquisition of literary properties, development, budgeting, casting, and the production of motion pictures for Paramount Pictures, MTV Films and Nickelodeon Movies. She left Paramount in January 2007.
Prior to founding The Jackal Group, Berman spent seven years as co-founder and co-owner of the media company BermanBraun with Lloyd Braun, which was an innovator in the digital arena, creating and operating successful online brands. The company's properties have included reality and scripted programs as well as live-action and animated projects. In February 2014, Braun became the sole owner of BermanBraun, renaming the company Whalerock Industries.
Before BermanBraun, Berman was the first and only female executive to hold the top posts at both a major film studio and television network.
- "About Us". The Jackal Group. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
- "Gail Berman To Produce TV, Theater, Movies, With Fox At The Jackal Group". Deadline Hollywood. 30 June 2014. Retrieved 15 June 2014.
- Wills, Adam. "Gail Berman (b. 1957)". Jewish Women's Archive. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
- "UMCP Foundation Board". University of Maryland College Park Foundations. Archived from the original on 10 March 2015. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
- "Board of Directors". Center Theatre Group. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
- Klein, Alvin (3 October 1982). "At 26, Producing 'Joseph' on Broadway". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
- Andreeva, Nellie (July 20, 2018). "'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' Series Reboot With Black Lead In Works From Monica Owusu-Breen & Joss Whedon". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
- Otterson, Joe (July 20, 2018). "'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' TV Reboot in Development From Joss Whedon, Monica Owusu-Breen". Variety. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
- Owen, Rob (3 March 2011). "Revisiting 'Firefly'". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
- Eller, Claudia; James, Meg (10 January 2007). "Berman appears to be on way out". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
- Swisher, Kara (29 January 2014). "Digital Hollywood Breakup — BermanBraun Now Just Braun". Recode. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
- , Deadline February 28, 2014
| President of FOX