Counsel, Production & Development, Scripted Programming
BETNew York, NY
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Full Time Job
BET Networks, a subsidiary of Paramount Global, is the nation's leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news, and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel reaches more than 90 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, and sub-Saharan Africa. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions: BET.com, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture and news; BET HER, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the African-American Woman; BET Music Networks - BET Jams, BET Soul and BET Gospel; BET Home Entertainment; BET Live, BET's growing festival business; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET around the globe.
Overview and Responsibilities
We are seeking a Counsel to join our BET legal team. In this role, you will handle a heavy volume of production and development related scripted work for BET Networks, BET , and BET Studios, which will develop and produce original content and license studio programs to internal and external platforms.
• Structuring, drafting and negotiating agreements involving the development and production of original, licensed, and co-produced scripted television programs including, series, mini-series, and â€œmovies-of-the-week.â€ These agreements will include, without limitation, talent agreements (including test-option agreements), writer agreements (including creators and staff writers), director agreements, rights agreements (life-rights, book option etc.), overall agreements, first look/right agreements, and production company agreements.
• Overseeing and providing on- and off-set advice to third-party production companies, producers, and creative executives on development- and production-related matters and legal analysis;
• Working with internal departments (e.g., talent, music & media licensing, labor and employment, risk management, intellectual property & litigation, accounting/finance, press/publicity, and digital) in connection with legal concerns that may arise with production and development and to ensure compliance with BET Studios and BET Networks policies and procedures;
• Performing other day-to-day legal and business affairs-related tasks as needed and assigned by the Senior Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs.
• At least 3 years of equivalent experience (including in a law firm and/or in a business and/or legal affairs department at a network, major studio, or OTT/streaming service or network) with demonstrable scripted deal-making experience.
• Qualified candidates must be members of the California or New York Bar.
• Excellent negotiating and drafting skills.
• Proficient in entertainment transactions and day-to-day legal challenges faced by scripted television productions.
• Ability to analyze fact patterns and devise creative solutions that allow executives to implement their creative vision while minimizing overall risk.
• Excellent knowledge concerning union (SAG-AFTRA, WGA, DGA, IATSE) and non-union issues and working knowledge of labor and employment law issues, music clearances, intellectual property law, risk management issues and rights of publicity and privacy.
• Excellent attention to detail and organizational skills with the ability to prioritize a high-volume workload efficiently and smoothly.
• Excellent communication (written and oral) and interpersonal skills.
• Ability to proactively collaborate with client group members, provide guidance, and make strategic recommendations in deal-making.
• Excellent industry relationships and a proactive approach to building relationships with television agents, entertainment lawyers, and other entertainment professionals.
• A cooperative, positive, team-oriented spirit!