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ABC replaces Dungey with Burke

Karey Burke has been named president, ABC Entertainment, following Channing Dungey’s decision to step down from the role and leave ABC after 14 years.

Karey Burke

Burke will report to Dana Walden, chairman of Disney Television Studios and ABC Entertainment, following completion of Disney’s 21st Century Fox acquisition.

Burke, current head of original programming development at Disney’s Freeform, will be responsible for all development, programming, casting, marketing, business affairs and scheduling operations for ABC primetime and late-night.

Her replacement at Freeform will be announced at a later date, Disney said. Dungey, meanwhile, will stay at the Mouse House through a transition period as Burke assumes her new role.

Discussing her decision to leave, Dungey said: “I’m incredibly proud of what the team and I have accomplished over the years, and all the meaningful and impactful programming we’ve developed.

“This job has been the highlight of my career. While I’ve loved every moment and knew I could call ABC home for many years to come, I’m excited to tackle new challenges.”

Dungey took up the role of president of ABC Entertainment in early 2016, becoming the first African-American to take the lead at a US broadcast network in the process.

The exec is credited with “helping identify and shepherd a wide variety of award-winning, critically acclaimed and fan-favourite programming.”

This includes titles such as The Good Doctor, The Rookie, Single Parents, Speechless, Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder, Black-ish, Designated Survivor, American Crime, Nashville, Once Upon a Time, Private Practice and Criminal Minds.

Bob Iger, chairman and CEO at Disney, said: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed having the opportunity to work with and mentor Channing; her curiosity, passion and creativity will ensure she is successful in whatever path she chooses going forward.”

“Over the past four years at Freeform, and throughout her career, Karey has proven herself a gifted leader with a strong track record of developing unique programming. Karey’s attention to, and intimate knowledge of, the audience, and a commitment to quality will be a great addition to the creative team at ABC,” added Iger.

Channing Dungey

Burke was named executive VP, programming and development at Freeform in October 2014, during which time the cable network, formerly known as ABC Family, launched shows such as Black-ish spin-off Grown-ish, Siren, The Bold Type and Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger.

Prior to joining the network, Burke partnered with director Todd Holland (Malcolm in the Middle, The Larry Sanders Show) in Dark Toy Entertainment, which they created in 2010, producing Free Agents for NBC and Matthew Perry’s comedy Go On.

Previously, she joined forces with Ashton Kutcher and Jason Goldberg as the third partner in their company, Katalyst Films. Burke oversaw the company’s television division.

Before joining Katalyst, Burke partnered with Jamie Tarses in an overall production deal with NBC Universal Television. From 1999 until 2003, she served as executive VP of primetime series at NBC, overseeing production of all prime-time comedy and drama programming, including shows as West Wing, Will & Grace and ER.

During this time, she supervised the development of series such as Freaks & Geeks, Scrubs, American Dreams, Boomtown, Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Ed.

As senior VP of primetime series from 1996-1999, Burke was involved in the development and production of such series as Friends, Mad About You, Providence and Just Shoot Me.


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