PR Primed Her for Development

Aug 4, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Nearly four years ago, Sharon Levy was handed a unique life-changing opportunity.
At the time, she was a public relations executive for Comedy Central and was asked to join David Stanley and Scott Stone for lunch. The duo, who head Stone Stanley Entertainment, had dealt with Ms. Levy as producers of Comedy Central’s hit “The Man Show,” and they wanted to offer her a job heading their marketing department.
Ms. Levy turned them down.
“I love marketing and I love PR and I have too great a gig at Comedy Central, so it doesn’t make a lot of sense for me,” she said she told them.
The duo then offered her a job running their development. That was more like it. “Public relations played a huge part in why I feel like I’m successful at this job,” she said. “A lot of what development is about is selling, and through PR I was able to learn about that through constantly cultivating relationships as well as being able to negotiate through choppy waters.”
As VP of development for Stone Stanley, Ms. Levy has helped the production house blaze through cable and network programming with hits ranging from ABC’s “The Mole” and NBC’s “Fame” to Spike TV’s “Oblivious.” She is now responsible for all aspects of development for the company and recently oversaw the beginning of “The Man Show’s” new era with Joe Rogan and Doug Stanhope as hosts.
“Stone Stanley has never been just a reality-programming company,” she said, “and I feel that we’re about to show the world just what we are capable of. The thought that they saw something so outside the box as to hire me is simply unbelievable.”
Two projects under way at the company include Spike’s upcoming scripted/reality hybrid “The Joe Schmoe Show” and the single-camera comedy “Canine Companions.” “Canine” was brought to Stone Stanley as part of a development deal with Stephen Baldwin.” Mr. Baldwin will serve as creator/executive producer along with Alex D’Andrea, Mr. Stanley and Mr. Stone.
“Schmoe” will premiere Sept. 7 as a reality show with a twist: Only one contestant is real. The rest are actors designed to play the stereotypes often seen in other “game operas”-ongoing reality shows such as “Survivor” and “The Amazing Race.”
“With Sharon, we always saw someone who brings such enthusiasm to the job that it was simply a no-brainer to hire her, even if it was outside her `specialty,”’ Mr. Stone said. “We have never looked back, and foresee only bigger things on the horizon.”
Name: Sharon Levy
Date of Birth: April 9, 1970
Place of Birth: Long Island, N.Y.
Current Job: VP of development at Stone Stanley
Who Knew? Ms. Levy loves to do needlepoint.