Programming

DeBitetto Upped at AETN

Bob DeBitetto was promoted to president and general manager for A&E Network, The Biography Channel. 6/24/2008 12:01:00 PM Eastern

Bob DeBitetto was promoted to president and general manager for A&E Network and The Biography Channel.

Bob DeBitetto

DeBitetto, formerly executive vice president and GM, who has been at A&E Television Networks since 2003, conceived A&E’s multiplatform “Real Life. Drama” branding campaign for the network’s stable of unscripted and scripted originals including Intervention, Criss Angel Mindfreak, Gene Simmons Family Jewels and upcoming original dramas The Cleaner starring Benjamin Bratt and The Beast with Patrick Swayze.

DeBitetto will report to AETN president and CEO Abbe Raven.

“Bob’s done a remarkable job in terms of development,” Raven said. “He’s been the architect of our multiprong [development] strategy.”

The Cleaner -- which has Bratt playing a former addict who becomes an extreme interventionist helping others kick their drug habits -- is the network’s first original scripted series in several years. And it dovetails thematically with the network’s reality hit, Intervention.

After the success of Bratt-headlined miniseries The Andromeda Strainlast May, Raven is banking that The Cleaner will bring A&E some Mad Men-esque cache.

“You know what’s interesting about Mad Men,” she said, “[it’s] gotten so much press but when you look at the numbers, they’re not through the roof. I’m very bullish on The Cleaner.”

The network ordered 13 episodes of the show, which bows July 15.

The Beast, which begins production in August, will debut in early 2009. The network has yet to commit to the previously announced Danny Ficke, a detective drama starring Connie Nielsen.

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