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CBS reality executive Ghen Maynard leaving network to produce

By Christopher Rocchio , 08/11/2008 

CBS reality executive Ghen Maynard's torch has apparently been snuffed.

Maynard -- who served as CBS' executive vice president for alternative programming and entertainment content since June 2006 and was responsible for developing Survivor, The Amazing Race and Big Brother during an earlier tour of duty at the network -- has left the position, Daily Variety reported Sunday.

Maynard's departure ended "weeks of rumors" that CBS was thinking of "making a change with its alternative/unscripted team," according to Variety, which added "rumors of Maynard's impending exit grew even louder last week."

Instead of continuing to serve as CBS' top reality executive, Variety reported that the network has restructured Maynard's contract into a production and development deal.  As part of the agreement, CBS will have a first-look option on Maynard's projects.

"Ghen has talked with us about a desire to produce, and both of us thought the time was right to make a change in the alternative area, so this is an agreement that works for everyone,"  CBS Paramount Network TV Entertainment Group president Nancy Tellem told Variety

"We have great admiration and appreciation for what Ghen has accomplished here. He has developed and launched several of the top reality franchises on television."

Maynard was named CBS' first reality programming executive in June 2000 and was responsible for bringing Survivor, Big Brother and The Amazing Race to the network. 

From June 2002 to May 2004 he oversaw the development of all of CBS' reality series and game shows.  In addition, he also developed America's Next Top Model for CBS' now defunct UPN network.

While he left CBS in 2004 to take a position at NBC, he subsequently returned in 2006 and had served in his most recent capacity since then.  However despite his early reality success, CBS has failed to develop a new reality hit since Maynard's return, with new shows like Armed & Famous, Kid Nation, Pirate Master, Secret Talents of the Stars all failing to draw viewers.

CBS has yet to name a replacement for Maynard, according to Variety, which added the network does plan to fill the position and have Maynard assist with the transition.

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