Exclusive: John Hesse resurrects prodco

John Hesse (pictured) has resurrected John Hesse Productions after more than two decades to develop and produce factual content, and is working on a doc on former U.S. Secretary of State James A. Baker III.
September 25, 2012

CORRECTION: UPDATED 4:56 P.M. EST: An earlier version of this story said it would air on PBS in the fall of 2013. At present, an airdate for the project, which has been presented to PBS by the production company but not commissioned by the network, has not yet been determined.

Executive producer John Hesse (pictured) has brought back John Hesse Productions to develop and produce documentary and entertainment content, after years in station management at Houston’s PBS station.

Hesse tells realscreen that he shuttered his prodco, which he started in 1980, about 10 years after he launched it, to work in the development arena at KCET in Los Angeles. John Hesse Productions originally produced projects for U.S. networks including HBO and PBS.

He was most recently taking time off after serving as general manager of KUHT/HoustonPBS from June 2002 to November 2011.

“This spring I kept getting pulled back into content development in various ways, so I finally decided to resurrect my old production company, get a new EIN [Employer Identification Number], register here in Texas, and launch a couple of projects that were on the back burner,” he said.

John Hesse Productions is returning with a doc on James A. Baker III, who was the Secretary of State in the U.S. under president George H. W. Bush. Currently in production on the doc, known as Politics, Negotiation and Successful Diplomacy (working title), Hesse says the projected completion date is sometime in 2013.

For that project, Hesse is reuniting the production team – producer Eric Stange, coordinating producer Jim Fisher, and content development Ken Lawrence - behind previous PBS docs on the Berlin Wall, The Wall: A World Divided and After the Wall: A World United.

Also on its slate, John Hesse Productions is developing projects on the Panama Canal expansion and the European economic crisis.

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.