EXCLUSIVE: Veteran executive and producer Nina Wolarsky, who helped put Netflix on the original series map, has joined Plan B Entertainment as the company’s first ever President of Television.
The high profile hire signals a major television expansion following Mediawan’s acquisition of a majority stake in Brad Pitt’s Plan B last December.
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Known for its formidable film portfolio, which includes three Best Picture winners, The Departed, 12 Years a Slave and Moonlight, Plan B had ventured into television with such projects as the Emmy-winning HBO movie The Normal Heart and the Emmy-nominated HBO movie Nightingale and Prime Video series The Underground Railroad.
The company telegraphed its growing ambitions in the TV space two years ago with the hire of Scott Free’s Carina Sposato and Netflix’s Ernest McNealey as Plan B’s first dedicated, senior-level TV executives. The duo will now be part of Wolarsky’s team.
Wolarsky was one of the first senior original programming executives hired by Netflix in 2012. During her eight-year tenure until her exit in late 2020, she was instrumental in building the streamer’s originals series team and slate. She oversaw such successful and brand-defining Netflix shows as Outstanding Drama Emmy winner The Crown, Orange Is the New Black, Ava Duvernay’s award winning limited series When They See Us, and the first season of Shondaland’s global phenom Bridgerton. In her role as VP, Wolarsky led a team responsible for a range of programming, including ongoing and limited series, and oversaw a number of Netflix’s overall deals, including those with Bridgerton‘s Shonda Rhimes, The Crown’s Peter Morgan, and OITNB‘s Jenji Kohan.
Prior to Netflix, Wolarsky was SVP of George Clooney and Grant Heslov’s Smoke House Pictures from 2006-2012 where she developed and executive produced the 2012 Academy Award-winning Best Picture Argo and the 2011 Oscar-nominated The Ides of March.
Wolarsky began her career at the New York-based independent film production company Hart Sharp Entertainment (Boys Don’t Cry, You Can Count on Me) where she oversaw development, including the 2008 Golden Globe-winning film Revolutionary Road.
“Nina Wolarsky is our dream person to take Plan B’s television business where we believe it can go,” Plan B Entertainment partners Pitt, Dede Gardner, and Jeremy Kleiner said. “She is a person of great skill, taste, and her creative and business instincts have earned the respect of the community. She brings a wealth of experience, having been integral to so many incredible series and working with the highest quality talent in the business. We are so happy that she is joining our company.”
Elisabeth d’Arvieu, CEO of Paris-based Mediawan Pictures, indicated that Wolarsky’s hire is part of the company’s TV plans is the U.S.
“We are delighted to welcome Nina Wolarsky to the Plan B team,” she said. “Her arrival as head of television is a major asset in continuing to develop Plan B’s prolific work and talent relationships. Her appointment is also an important step in the development of Mediawan Television’s activities, particularly in the United States.”
Plan B’s upcoming television projects include a second season of Outer Range and a series order of Wytches for Prime Video and Amazon Studios, a new season of Lego Masters for Fox, a second season of Feud in partnership with Ryan Murphy for FX, and Three Body Problem, from David Benioff and D.B. Weiss and Alex Woo, for Netflix.
“Plan B has always been a premier home for talent, and I am thrilled to be joining the team at such an exciting time for the company,” Wolarsky said. “I’ve admired the work of Brad, Dede, and Jeremy for many years and I’m looking forward to collaborating with them as we expand their television business and continue to build on their legacy of supporting exceptional storytellers around the world.”
Upcoming film projects from Plan B include RaMell Ross’s The Nickel Boys and Nia DaCosta’s Hedda Gabler for MGM’s Orion Pictures, Bong Joon-Ho’s Mickey 17 and Tim Burton’s sequel to Beetlejuice for Warner Brothers, David Michod’s Wizards for A24, Reinaldo Marcus Green’s Bob Marley: One Love for Paramount, as well as an untitled thriller from writer/director Jon Watts starring George Clooney & Brad Pitt, and Joseph Kosinski’s Formula One racing film starring Pitt for Apple Studios.
Additionally, Plan B has a multi-project worldwide development deal with Audible to create a slate of Audible Originals. The first project under the partnership, “A Summer Love Thing” by Bradford Young, is in active development.