If there’s a woman in Hollywood who knows what TV audiences want, it’s Susan Levison. During the decade she spent climbing the ladder at Fox Broadcasting Co., Levison had a hand in many of the networks biggest hits, including ratings blockbusters “American Idol” and “House.”
“It was so much fun,” she said. “I had such a great run at Fox.”
But Levison is taking on a new professional challenge as executive vice president of creative affairs for recently founded West L.A. television development company FishBowl Worldwide Media.
Launched in January, FishBowl is still in what Levison called the “beta stage.” She expects to have a full creative team behind her by early summer to begin developing new television concepts.
In the meantime, she’s enjoying the freedom that comes with being on the ground floor of a new business.
“I loved working at a big company, but I didn’t realize how much fun it would be to be responsible for your own company,” Levison said. “It’s been wonderfully satisfying on the creative side and as a businesswoman.”
Levison brings many skills developed at Fox to the FishBowl table.
She began working at the network in 1999 as director of alternative programming, where she helped develop “American Idol” and the Paris Hilton reality show “The Simple Life.” She then went on to positions in the network’s drama and comedy divisions.
Despite the success of programs she helped develop, including “Bones” and “The Cleveland Show,” Levison remembers her work on the short-lived “Simple Life” most fondly.
“That was an idea that we generated internally,” she said. “It was my baby.”
When she first moved to Los Angeles, however, Levison aspired to work in front of the camera and not behind the scenes. But after taking classes with L.A.-based improv comedy group the Groundlings, she quickly realized she wasn’t cut out for a career as an actress. So she took a part-time job at talent agency CAA, a choice that eventually led her to Fox.
Levison, 36, lives with her partner, Stephanie, and their two children, Ben and Jamie, in Cheviot Hills. In her spare time, she cooks – even though she says she’s terrible at it – and plays Scrabble.
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