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Netflix alum Duncan joins Freeform

Disney’s young-adult cable network Freeform has named Tara Duncan, a former senior creative executive at Netflix, as its president.

Tara Duncan

Duncan joins Freeform on June 8 and will report to Dana Walden, chairman, Disney Television Studios and ABC Entertainment.

Duncan replaces Tom Ascheim, who left recently to join Warner Bros as president of global kids, young adults and classics.

Producer and entertainment exec Duncan will oversee strategic planning, brand development, content strategy, original programming, production, scheduling, finance, research, marketing and communications at Freeform.

Duncan joins the network from her overall deal at Disney-owned Hulu, where she has put together a slate of projects that includes an adaptation of Zakiya Dalila Harris’s novel The Other Black Girl, which she picked up with Temple Hill Entertainment after a competitive bidding war.

Before joining Hulu, she was a senior creative executive at Netflix, overseeing hit series Orange Is the New Black and Narcos, and launching series with directors Spike Lee, Baz Luhrmann, The Wachowskis and Justin Simien.

Prior to that, she produced the pilot of Bosch, Amazon’s first drama series, and was a key creative executive at AMC.

Duncan is a founding member of Who’s In The Room, an executive mentorship initiative created to help diversify the executive and producer ranks in the industry. She started her career at Section Eight, George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh’s production company.

“Tara is an exceptionally skilled executive and a seasoned producer who is bringing a wealth of experience across linear channels and streaming platforms to her new role,” said Walden.

“Her background, great taste and reputation make her the perfect choice to lead Freeform and its original programming that entertains viewers across its linear channel and distribution on Hulu. Tara and I met for the first time a little over a year ago, and I was truly taken with her vision and understanding of the creative process. Getting her inside of Walt Disney Television has been a priority and I am thrilled she will be leading the formidable Freeform team.”

Duncan added: “The programming on Freeform makes me think, laugh and feel good at a time when being optimistic matters most. It is incredibly exciting to join the Freeform team and continue forging a path for fun, daring storytelling. I am especially grateful for Dana Walden’s leadership and Craig Erwich’s guidance, as well as Bea Springborn and a host of mentors and friends who have nurtured me to this next chapter in my career.”

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