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Kevin Reilly (born 1962) is an American media executive who served as the Chief Content Officer of HBO Max and the president of TNT, TBS, and truTV. In addition to his position at
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, Reilly has also held executive positions at FX,
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, and Fox, and has championed successful programs such as ''
The Sopranos ''The Sopranos'' is an American crime drama television series created by David Chase. The story revolves around Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini), a New Jersey-based American Mafia, Italian-American mobster, portraying the difficulties that he fa ...
'', ''
Empire An empire is a sovereign state consisting of several territories and peoples subject to a single ruling authority, often an emperor An emperor (from la, imperator, via fro, empereor) is a monarch, and usually the sovereignty, sovereign ...
, The Office'', '' 30 Rock'', '' Friday Night Lights'', '' The Shield'', '' ER, Law & Order'' and '' Glee'', among others.


Early life and education

Reilly is a
Long Island Long Island is a densely populated island in the southeast part of the U.S. state of New York, in the northeastern United States. At New York Harbor it is approximately from Manhattan Island and extends eastward over into the Atlantic Oce ...
native who was born in Manhasset, New York (state), New York and grew up in Port Washington, New York, Port Washington. He is also a graduate of Chaminade High School in Mineola, New York, Mineola. Reilly attended Cornell University, where he earned his undergraduate degree in communications arts in 1984. While at Cornell, Reilly was a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity.


Career


1984–2000: Early career, NBC and Brillstein-Grey

Reilly began his career as a freelance production assistant in New York City where he worked on over 150 commercials and music videos. To pursue a career in television, he took a road trip to Los Angeles, initially earning a position as a publicist with Universal Pictures and later hired by Brandon Tartikoff as a manager of creative affairs at
NBC The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) is an American English-language commercial terrestrial radio Radio is the technology of signaling and telecommunication, communicating using radio waves. Radio waves are electromagnetic waves of fr ...
in 1988. In his early years at NBC he developed ''Saved by the Bell''. He later supervised '' Law & Order'' in its first season and developed the pilot episode for '' ER'' while serving as vice president of drama development from 1992 to 1994. In 1994, Reilly left his role at NBC to become president of television at Brillstein Entertainment Partners, Brillstein-Grey Entertainment. While there, Reilly was responsible for shepherding some of television's top shows, such as
NBC The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) is an American English-language commercial terrestrial radio Radio is the technology of signaling and telecommunication, communicating using radio waves. Radio waves are electromagnetic waves of fr ...
's ''Just Shoot Me'' and ''NewsRadio'', and The WB's ''The Steve Harvey Show'', and the pilot for HBO's ''
The Sopranos ''The Sopranos'' is an American crime drama television series created by David Chase. The story revolves around Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini), a New Jersey-based American Mafia, Italian-American mobster, portraying the difficulties that he fa ...
''. He resigned from the position in 2000.


2000–2003: Move to FX

In 2000, Reilly joined FX as president of entertainment. While at FX, he helped the new network become a profitable, creative business. While there he also transitioned the network's programming from syndicated reruns to original programming including '' The Shield'', ''Nip/Tuck'', and ''Rescue Me (U.S. TV series), Rescue Me''. Within a year of his arrival, FX made cable history with its seminal series, ''The Shield'' broke cable ratings records when it premiered and received both a Golden Globe Award for Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Drama, Best Drama Series and an Emmy Award for Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, lead actor Michael Chiklis in 2002. Reilly also championed ''Lucky (American TV series), Lucky'', the first television project from the Russo brothers.


2003–2007: Second stint at NBC

In June 2003, Reilly was named the president of primetime development at NBC. In May 2004, he was promoted to president of the network's entire entertainment division, which included primetime, daytime, and late night programming. Reilly's second tenure at the network was marked by volatility largely due to the fact that major properties like ''The West Wing'', ''Friends'', ''Frasier'', and ''Will & Grace'' came to a conclusion. Despite NBC's poor performance, Reilly oversaw the development of some of the network's more prominent shows that helped to define the network in that decade. His vocal support of ''The Office'' helped it survive its low-rated first season. He also helped get ''My Name Is Earl'' on the air despite objections from other NBC Universal executives. Reilly has been credited with developing other shows such as ''Heroes (U.S. TV series), Heroes'', '' 30 Rock'', '' Friday Night Lights'', ''Deal or No Deal'', ''America's Got Talent'', and others. Despite having received a new three-year contract at NBC in March 2007, Reilly's employment with NBC Universal was terminated in late May 2007, and he departed soon after. Under his administration, NBC's programs received 69 Emmy nominations that year, and a total of 235 nominations and 50 wins.


2007–2014: Return to Fox

Six weeks after leaving NBC, Reilly was hired as president of entertainment at Fox. The move reunited him with Peter Liguori whom he also worked with while at FX. Early in his tenure at Fox, Reilly developed and launched the J.J. Abrams thriller ''Fringe (TV series), Fringe'', and Seth MacFarlane's ''Family Guy'' spinoff, ''The Cleveland Show''. He also was involved in the launch of Fox Inkubation, a joint venture with 20th Century Fox that provided funding to animators to create two-minute shorts that could eventually be developed into television pilots. Through the program, Justin Rioland first generated the concept for what would become the Adult Swim show ''Rick and Morty.'' In 2009, he launched ''Glee'' which would go on to win the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy in 2010. Reilly is generally credited with creating Jane Lynch's character, Sue Sylvester, on the show. In 2011, Reilly also championed ''New Girl'', the network's highest-rated fall sitcom debut in 10 years, and the singing competition show, ''The X Factor (U.S. TV series), The X Factor''. Reilly was promoted to chairman of entertainment for Fox in August 2012. He later introduced the shows ''Brooklyn Nine-Nine'', ''Bob's Burgers'', and ''The Mindy Project''. At Fox, Reilly oversaw the network's leadership and investment in digital and social media. He is credited as "the architect" behind the Animation Domination High-Def, an independent digital animation subsidiary generating alternative animation for digital channels and a late-night block on Fox. Reilly also initiated a "no Television pilot, pilot season" strategy (designed to nurture fewer new Fox shows with more investment). Prior to his departure, he also greenlit shows, including ''Empire'', ''Gotham'', and ''The Last Man on Earth (TV series), The Last Man on Earth''. During his time at Fox from 2007 to 2014, the network had a seven-year run as television's top-rated network for adults aged 18 to 49. He left Fox in May 2014.


2014–2020


TBS, TNT, and Turner Entertainment

In November 2014, Reilly was named the president of TNT and TBS and chief creative officer of Turner Entertainment. In the role, he oversaw the TBS and TNT networks and led growth opportunities across Turner's entertainment properties including TBS, TNT, truTV, Adult Swim, Super Deluxe and ''ELEAGUE''. In 2016, Reilly led TNT to cut 50% of the ad load of the network's new dramas, starting with ''Animal Kingdom (TV series), Animal Kingdom''. Reilly has also gained notice for modernizing and reinventing the types of series seen on TNT and TBS, introducing dark original dramas at TNT, including ''Claws (TV series), Claws'' and ''The Alienist (TV series), The Alienist'', and edgy comedies at TBS, including ''Full Frontal with Samantha Bee'', ''The Detour (TV series), The Detour'', ''Wrecked (U.S. TV series), Wrecked'', ''Angie Tribeca'' and ''The Last O.G.''. He also led TBS to experiment with "binge-viewing" by airing all 10 episodes of ''Angie Tribeca''’s first season repeatedly over 25-hours without commercials in January 2016 and again in November 2016 with the network’s newest original series, ''Search Party (TV series), Search Party'', which debuted all 10 episodes of first season during Thanksgiving weekend. Under Reilly's leadership, in 2017 TBS also introduced new unscripted shows including ''The Joker's Wild, Snoop Dogg Presents the Joker's Wild'' and ''Drop the Mic''. At Turner, Reilly made investments in digital and social media content and pushed for multi-platform ratings measurement. In October 2015, Reilly oversaw the launch of Super Deluxe and pushed for investments in ELEAGUE, the first major foray into professional eSports video game competitions in prime-time TV by a traditional media company, and companies like Refinery29. In 2018, ''Fast Company (magazine), Fast Company'' named Turner among "The World's Most Innovative Companies" in the video category citing Reilly's development of shows like ''Full Frontal with Samantha Bee'' and ''The Alienist'' with helping reinvent the company's TBS and TNT networks. In October 2019, Reilly worked with Tony Khan to bring AEW (All Elite Wrestling) to TNT in 2020. AEW signed a four-year contract extension in 2020 will begin airing a second weekly show on the network in 2021.


WarnerMedia

In December 2018, Reilly's role was expanded to include architecting the overall creative identity of WarnerMedia's direct-to-consumer streaming platform, being appointed president TBS and TNT and chief creative officer Turner and WarnerMedia Direct-to-Consumer. As CCO, Reilly oversaw licensing properties for the streaming service such as Friends, The Big Bang Theory, Big Bang Theory, DC Extended Universe, DC theatrical films, and external properties including Sesame Street, Studio Ghibli, South Park, and a BBC output deal. Some of Reilly's programming at Max included Ridley Scott’s Raised by Wolves (American TV series), Raised by Wolves, Love Life (American TV series), Love Life starring Anna Kendrick, the ballroom competition show, Legendary (TV series), Legendary and Justice League: “Zack Snyder's Justice League, the Snyder Cut” as a re-conceived multi-part event. In May 2019, Reilly signed a new, four-year deal with
WarnerMedia Warner Media, LLC, doing business as WarnerMedia, is an American multinational mass media and entertainment Entertainment is a form of activity that holds the attention and Interest (emotion), interest of an audience or gives pleasure a ...

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that would have kept him at the company through 2022. It had expanded his oversight of the company's basic cable networks to include truTV in addition to TBS, TNT, and the direct-to-consumer streaming service ( HBO Max). Reilly departed in August 2020 amidst a company-wide restructuring.


Board memberships

Reilly serves as a chairman of the board of trustees for the Nature Conservancy of California. He is also a member of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Young Presidents' Organization and serves on the board of trustees for the American Film Institute, the Television Academy, and on the advisory board for the Peabody Awards. Reilly also serves on the Advisory Council for Cornell's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.


Awards and recognition

In 2016, he was inducted into the ''Broadcasting & Cable'' Hall of Fame. In 2018, Reilly received the Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award from the National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE).


References


External links

* {{DEFAULTSORT:Reilly, Kevin 1962 births American television executives Businesspeople from New York (state) Cornell University alumni Fox Broadcasting Company executives Living people NBC executives People from Manhasset, New York Presidents of Fox Broadcasting Company Entertainment Presidents of NBC Entertainment