CBS Reality Boss Ghen Maynard Stepping Down

Executive who developed Survivor , Amazing Race moving toward producer role.

CBS’ top alternative executive, Ghen Maynard, will step down from his executive post and segue to a producer role.

Ghen Maynard

In an agreement reached late Friday, his executive deal will be converted to a first-look production and development pact. He had 10 months left on his current deal, sources said.

Maynard will begin his new production agreement this week while assisting with transition issues for CBS and The CW alternative programming until his successor is named, according to a statement CBS issued Sunday.

The move was described by one source as “amicable.” The executive and Nancy Tellem, president of CBS Paramount Network Television Entertainment Group, agreed that the timing was right as 2009 development gets in gear. Maynard has a long history with CBS and has aspired to transition to producing.

"Ghen has talked with us about a desire to produce, and both of us thought the time was right to make a change in the alternative area, so this is an agreement that works for everyone," Tellem said in the CBS statement. "We have great admiration and appreciation for what Ghen has accomplished here. He has developed and launched several of the top reality franchises on television, including one, Survivor, that pioneered the modern reality form. We look forward to continuing to utilize his talents and being part of the next chapter of his career."

Maynard, who has roots in publishing and drama-series development, indeed often receives credit for launching a wave of story-driven reality programming with such seminal nonfiction programs as Survivor and Amazing Race. However, his entries during his current, second stint with CBS failed to ignite in the same way. Among his latest releases, CBS series Greatest American Dog didn’t flop, but it didn’t take off, either.

Maynard returned to CBS in May 2006, when he was named executive vice president, alternative programming and entertainment content for new media, CBS Paramount Network Television Entertainment Group. The role included oversight of alternative programming development and operations for the CBS Television Network, The CW, CBS Paramount Network Television and CBS' original programming for wireless and online platforms.

Prior to his return to CBS, Maynard served two years as executive VP, primetime development at NBC Entertainment, under then-entertainment chief Kevin Reilly.

Maynard started his career in publishing and worked in postproduction at ABC Productions before joining CBS his first time. He started in drama-series development at the network and moved on to become senior VP, alternative programming and creative strategies, CBS Entertainment, the position in which he developed America’s Next Top Model, Big Brother and Kid Nation.

Maynard thanked CBS and its executives in the statement.

“The life of a network exec affords a person the opportunity to work with some of the best people in town, and while they are all too numerous to mention, I do want to thank all of the amazing producers I have gotten to work with for their creativity, inspiration and friendship,” Maynard added.

Deadline Hollywood Daily blogger Nikki Finke this weekend first reported that the changes were in motion.