updated 3/22/2005 7:26:01 PM ET 2005-03-23T00:26:01

Gail Berman, president of entertainment at the Fox Television network, is leaving to take an unspecified role at Paramount Pictures.

Paramount confirmed Tuesday it is in discussions with Berman about a "senior creative role at the studio" and hoped to reach a deal soon.

A Fox spokesman declined to comment on the negotiations.

Berman is "one of the most talented executives in the entertainment industry, with great relationships, exceptional taste, and an amazing creative track record," Paramount said in a short statement issued late Tuesday.

Berman would be the first high-profile hire of studio chief Brad Grey, who himself took the top spot at Paramount earlier this month.

Grey came to Paramount with extensive television experience. He had run the talent agency Brillstein-Grey Entertainment and produced films and television shows, most notably the HBO series "The Sopranos."

Berman has led Fox for five years, a relatively long tenure in the pressure-cooker job of network entertainment.

After its traditional slow start, Fox caught fire in January with the return of "American Idol." Largely on the strength of that show, Fox is currently No. 1 this season among viewers aged 18-to-49, the young demographic it craves, while ranking fourth when all viewers are counted.

She's used "American Idol" as a lead-in to build audiences for some critically acclaimed shows, like "24" and the hot new medical drama "House."

Otherwise, Fox has had trouble developing scripted successes. Despite winning an Emmy for best comedy last fall, there's still some question about whether "Arrested Development" has enough of an audience to survive.

Except for "American Idol," Fox entertainment's once hot reality show division has cooled.

Berman has been a vocal proponent of the concept of year-round scheduling, as opposed to concentrating most of the new shows in the fall. That's partly due to the fact that Fox carries postseason baseball, which prevents its fall shows from getting traction.

Although Berman successfully introduced "The O.C." in summer 2003, last year's crop of summertime shows was a flop.

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