Viacom has elevated thestatus of its subsidiary production companies MTV Films and Nick Movies fromon-the-lot producers to "full labels" under the Paramount Motion Picture Group(PMPG) umbrella alongside Paramount Pictures, DreamWorks SKG, Paramount Vantageand Paramount Classics.

The company has hiredproducer Scott Aversano (pictured), who is an independent producer on the lotand previously spent seven years with Scott Rudin Productions, most recently ashead of production, to be president of MTV Films and Nick Movies.

"After successful 12-yearstints as production companies at Paramount, we are going to upgrade MTV andNick to full movie label status," said Viacom president and CEO Tom Freston ina statement.

"This will expand their roleat Paramount, will better leverage their considerable talent and marketingcapabilities, and will allow for smoother day-to-day management on the lot withstrong connections back to the core brands."

Aversano will be responsiblefor film development, production and acquisitions at the two labels, reportingto Gail Berman, president of Paramount Pictures, and also on all brand-relatedmatters for the films to Van Toffler, group president, MTV Networks Music Groupand Cyma Zarghami, president, Nickelodeon and MTV Networks Kids And FamilyGroup.

MTV Films and Nick Movieswill continue to produce films targeted to their respective demographics; withNick Movies releasing animated and family films, and MTV Films focusing oncomedies, documentaries, urban fare and horror films for teens and youngadults.

"MTV and Nickelodeon arehousehold names with audiences in every corner of the world," said Aversano."I'm excited to embark on this new challenge to continue bringing movies to themarketplace that utilize Viacom's unique strengths in targeted demographics."

Among Nick Movies' recentfilms are current animated release Barnyard, Nacho Libre, Lemony Snicket's ASeries Of Unfortunate Events, TheSpongebob Squarepants Movie and the Rugrats films. Its forthcoming event titles include Charlotte'sWeb which will be released this Decand The Spiderwick Chroniclesnext year.

MTV Films has creditsincluding The Longest Yard, Save The Last Dance, Napoleon Dynamite,Election, Varsity Blues and Hustle& Flow. Upcoming releasesinclude Freedom Writers withHilary Swank, Jackass: Number 2and Will Ferrell comedy Blades Of Glory.

Aversano oversaw numerousprojects at Scott Rudin Productions including Failure To Launch, TeamAmerica, The Manchurian Candidate, School Of Rock and Changing Lanes. Prior to joining Rudin, he was director ofdevelopment at Paramount from 1997 to 1999 working on films including WonderBoys, South Park: Bigger, Longer And Uncut and Runaway Bride. Hestarted his career at Sid Ganis' Out Of The Blue Entertainment.