Former CBS Casting Executive Karen Church Joins Thruline As Senior Manager

EXCLUSIVE: Management and production company Thruline Entertainment has brought in longtime CBS talent executive Karen Church as senior manager.

Most recently SVP of Comedy Casting at CBS, Church, who left the network late last year, oversaw talent on some of CBS’ signature hits of the past two decades.

Church joined CBS in 1998 as Director of Movies and Miniseries after starting her career as an independent casting director. She shepherded the casting of more than CBS 50 telefilms a year before switching to comedy series where she rose to SVP. While at the network, Church oversaw the entire runs of Everybody Loves Raymond, Two and A Half Men, King of Queens, The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, 2 Broke Girls, Mom, Mike & Molly and Life In Pieces, among many others, as well as the pilots and multiple seasons of The Neighborhood, Young Sheldon, The Unicorn and Bob Hearts Abishola. 

“We are beyond thrilled to be taking this leap with Karen, a friend of more than 20 years,” Thruline founders Ron West, Chris Henze, JB Roberts and Willie Mercer said in a joint statement. “She is a world-class human being with great taste, great relationships, and so much perspective to bring to our existing client and manager roster. We’ve been impressed for years by her success in identifying and nurturing talent. We’re thrilled to be in a position to support her in this next phase of her career, and have no doubt she will be an incredible manager and colleague.”

Church plans to bring her years of network executive experience to her new position. “I’ve spent so much time on one side of the phone, and learned so much about how good talent representatives can help shape a client’s career. And, of course, I’ve seen plenty of cautionary tales as well,” she said. “I saw an opportunity at Thruline to collaborate with old friends, and make new ones. I intend to sign established talent who might benefit from my unique perspective, but am also looking forward to putting my experience to work in developing emerging actors.”

Thruline’s 19 managers oversee a client roster that includes actors Allison Janney, Eric Stonestreet, Sarah Silverman, Blair Underwood, Giancarlo Esposito, Michael Cera, Jay Baruchel, Ron Livingston, John Hawkes, Brian Darcy-James and Briga Heelan along with a slew of writers.

On the production side, Thruline produces Hulu’s The Great, currently in production on its second season. On the feature side, Thruline is producing Combat Control, alongside The Hideaway, for MGM. Additionally, Thruline executives, Willie Mercer and JB Roberts, are Executive Producers on Marry Me, a Jennifer Lopez feature Universal has slated for a 2022 release. The company also recently wrapped production on Shriver, an indie feature from writer/director Michael Maren, which stars Michael Shannon and Kate Hudson.

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