Warner Bros. Television Group names Peter Roth as its first-ever chairman

Peter Roth, president and chief content officer of Warner Bros. Television Group, has signed a contract extension with the Warner Bros. TV prodco to become its first-ever chairman. Roth (pictured) will continue ...
February 3, 2020

Peter Roth, president and chief content officer of Warner Bros. Television Group, has signed a contract extension with the Warner Bros. TV prodco to become its first-ever chairman.

Roth (pictured) will continue to maintain leadership and creative responsibility for Warner Bros.’ television production activities, including domestic production of scripted, unscripted and alternative series for U.S. broadcast networks, cable and streaming services.

The executive and his team have, according to the company, led a “transformation” of the studio’s television operations, increasing its series production ouput for premium and basic cable channels, and expanding into producing series for the on-demand/streaming marketplace.

As of January 2020, the combined divisions of the Warner Bros. Television Group — including live-action scripted series, animation, and unscripted and alternative programs — are producing more than 115 series in the U.S.

Roth has been responsible for signing a number of exclusive overall deals with producers such as Chuck Lorre; Greg Berlanti; J.J. Abrams and Katie McGrath’s Bad Robot Productions; Ava DuVernay; John Wells; Damon Lindelof; Mindy Kaling; Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa; Elizabeth Banks; Bruno Heller; Michael Patrick King; Steve Molaro; Nkechi Okoro Carroll; Bill Lawrence; Bryan Cranston; David Nutter; Rob Thomas; Matt Miller; and Robert Zemeckis, among others.

“Across the industry, Peter has the well-deserved reputation as a legend, and I have long been an admirer of his creative insight, deep relationships and unmatched passion for — and love of — all the people behind and in front of the camera, at the networks, and across the studio who make Warner Bros. the most prolific TV producer in Hollywood,” Ann Sarnoff, chair and CEO of Warner Bros., said in a statement. “It’s fitting to recognize his many contributions to the company, and we’re grateful he will continue to lead our television production business as we expand our output to match the increased demand for programming by traditional and new outlets, including our own HBO Max.”

Roth took up the role of president and chief content officer in 2012, though he’s overseen Warner Bros. TV production operations for the past 21 years.

He joined the company in March 1999 as president of Warner Bros. Television after having served as president of Fox Entertainment since 1996.

Prior to working at the network, Roth joined Twentieth Television Corp. in June 1992 as president of production at Twentieth Network Television (currently 20th Century Fox Television Productions). Before joining Twentieth Television Corp., Roth was president of Stephen J. Cannell Productions for six years.

Roth previously spent 10 years at ABC Television Network, where he began his television career in 1976 as manager of children’s programs. He was promoted that same year to director and was responsible for ABC’s Saturday morning schedule. In June 1979, he was named director of current primetime programs and was promoted to VP of current primetime series in November 1981.

Roth currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Peabody Awards, the Los Angeles Board of Governors of The Paley Center for Media, and the Hall of Fame Selection Committee for the Television Academy.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.