Brett Weitz, General Manager, TBS, TNT and truTV, has tapped Sam Linsky and Adrienne O’Riain to co-head Scripted Originals for the three linear networks. Linsky, SVP of Original Programming, who recently celebrated 25 years with the company, will expand his responsibilities, alongside O’Riain, who has been promoted to SVP. Together, they will be responsible for providing leadership and oversight of the network’s scripted content, taking projects from concept to series and continuing the development of all scripted shows. Additionally, Linsky will work in partnership with Weitz and other company leaders to develop and execute strategic planning and programming initiatives.
“Sam and Adrienne make a great team. They are smart, strategic and dedicated creative executives who deliver ratings powerhouses and award winners, while also consistently rising to new challenges with striking results,” said Weitz. “As we continue to evolve our brands, the importance of our scripted Originals can’t be overstated. I am confident we are in the best possible hands under their stewardship.”
Linsky and O’Riain’s scripted slate includes TNT’s high adrenaline, edge-of-your-seat tentpoles such as Snowpiercer, a postapocalyptic thriller starring Daveed Diggs and Jennifer Connelly, which premiered May 17 as the top new entertainment program on cable in 2020; Angel of Darkness, the sequel to the Emmy(R) Award-winning Alienist; Claws, which ranked as a top 10 cable drama in both 2018 and 2019; and Animal Kingdom, a top 10 cable drama in 2019. On TBS, they oversee edgy comedies with broad appeal, such as Miracle Workers, a top 5 cable comedy starring Daniel Radcliffe and Steve Buscemi; The Last O.G., a top original cable comedy in 2019; and Chad, the forthcoming coming-of-age high school comedy from SNL alum Nasim Pedrad. And on truTV, the pair oversee laugh-out-loud, audacious series such as Emmy(R) nominee At Home with Amy Sedaris, Tacoma FD and I’m Sorry, the critically- acclaimed series from Andrea Savage, all which have seen growth in their viewership season-to-season. Linsky also manages the partnership with All Elite Wrestling (AEW) for WarnerMedia, as well as AEW: Dynamite, TNT’s fan-favorite wrestling series that debuted in 2019 which notably, consistently has the youngest wrestling audience on television.
“It is an honor to be leading such an inspiring and creative group of people and to be able to continue my strong and successful relationships throughout WarnerMedia while working with Brett and Adrienne across these networks,” said Linsky. “I have seen many evolutions of this company in my 25-year tenure, and the work that is being done by our teams now is truly remarkable.”
In this expansion of his duties, Linsky will work closely with Weitz on the strategy and execution of long-term plans centered around the networks’ evolution as well as with internal teams to define project scope, goals, and deliverables, including finance, strategic planning and new enterprise opportunities. Linsky’s successful track record at the company includes overseeing Emmy(R) Award-winning series Southland and The Closer, Peabody Award winner Men of a Certain Age, and recent ratings powerhouses Snowpiercer and AEW: Dynamite. Linsky’s roster also includes The Last Ship, Major Crimes, American Dad!, King of the Nerds, and Cougar Town. Linsky joined Turner Broadcasting in 1997, first serving as assistant to the Vice President of Original Programming for TNT, and before that, was at Castle Rock Entertainment for two years.
“I’ve loved being part of the evolution of these brands over the years, and working with a team that is endlessly creative, and always striving to be passionate supporters of talent,” said O’Riain. “I am thrilled to take on new responsibilities, and to expand our slate of scripted programming alongside Brett and Sam.”
In her newly appointed role of SVP, O’Riain will work closely with teams across the company, and with the networks’ top creative partners, to develop and produce scripted fare for all three networks. O’Riain previously served as Vice President, Original Programming for TNT, TBS and truTV. Joining the company in 2011, Adrienne has overseen numerous pilots and has helped launch some of its most high-profile series, including Miracle Workers: Dark Ages, Good Behavior, The Last Ship and Dallas. Prior to WarnerMedia, Adrienne was part of Denis Leary and Jim Serpico’s New York-based company, Apostle, where she developed drama and comedy projects through the company’s deal at Sony, including the Fox series Canterbury’s Law starring Julianna Margulies. She was also on the production teams for several Comedy Central shows, including Shorties Watchin’ Shorties, The Comedy Central Roast of Jeff Foxworthy, and Denis Leary’s Merry F&%$in Christmas.