Tom Fontana Returns to 'The Philanthropist'
'Creative differences' with NBC have been resolved
Tom Fontana, who created the show but departed over creative differences soon after it was ordered to series last spring, is now back working on the show. He'll take over as executive producer and showrunner from David Eick, the man who replaced Fontana in the spring, the showbiz trade papers report.
Eick will now devote his time to "Caprica," the "Battlestar Galactica" prequel he helped develop for the Sci Fi Channel.
The path to Fontana's return was paved by Angela Bromstad, the new head of scripted entertainment for NBC and Universal Media Studios, the trades say. Bromstad had been overseeing the London-based "Philanthropist" (where she was head of NBCU's production unit). The creative differences -- Fontana had a somewhat edgier vision for the show than the network -- have been worked out, and now Fontana will be back overseeing revision of the show's scripts.
Here's a rundown of all the twists and turns "The Philanthropist" -- about a billionaire who uses his money to help those in need -- has taken thus far:
April 2: NBC announces the pickup of the show, which has no star attached, and puts it on the midseason schedule at 10 p.m. Mondays.
April 22: Fontana and producing partner Barry Levinson leave the show over the aforementioned differences.
May 12: "Battlestar" and "Bionic Woman" exec producer Eick is tapped to run the series.
May 29: Peter Horton ("Grey's Anatomy," "Dirty Sexy Money") signs on as exec producer and director of the pilot.
July 22: The show finally finds its star in British actor James Purefoy ("Rome").
Aug. 4: In an effort to save money, NBC begins looking for an international production partner for the series.
Sept. 29: NBC Universal chief Jeff Zucker says the show will be based in London and also shoot in the Czech Republic and South Africa.
Oct. 3: "Law & Order" veteran Jesse L. Martin is cast as Purefoy's partner and friend.
Dec. 3: Neve Campbell is cast as Martin's wife.
Dec. 17: Fontana rejoins the series, which still doesn't have an airdate on NBC.