Entertainment industry rising star Gail Berman was named president of the Viacom-owned Paramount Pictures film and television studios Wednesday. She is scheduled to start in May. Currently Berman heads up the programming division of the U.S. Fox network.
Berman is credited for the major turn-around in the fortunes of the Fox network. Their ratings were at the bottom of the heap of the four major U.S. broadcast networks when she took over programming in 2000. According to the latest Nielsen ratings, Fox is the No. 1 U.S. network in primetime programming, thanks to such hits as American Idol, real-time suspense drama, 24, and hit teen soap opera, The O.C..
In moving from television to the movies, Berman acknowledged to reporters that she faces a challenging learning curve. She replaces outgoing Paramount president, Donald DeLine.