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Ex-ABC Studios chief joins A+E

Fledgling A+E Studios in the US has brought the former head of ABC Studios onboard and secured its first wholly owned order from cablenet Lifetime.

Barry Jossen has been appointed executive VP of A+E Studios to oversee all scripted programming operations from the production arm of cablenet operator A+E Networks.

Jossen was a big hitter at ABC Studios prior to his departure in July last year, producing series including Lost, Desperate Housewives and Scandal. He also launched spin-off operation ABC Signature, which produced content for off-network and emerging platforms.

Prior to that he was an executive producer at Imagine Television.

At A+E Studios, Jossen will report to Bob DiBitetto, who was appointed president of brand strategy and business development when the in-house production arm launched last June.

DiBitetto told C21 at Mipcom last year that the purpose of the studio was to ensure A+E Networks could own more rights to its original content and distribute it to its channels around the world.

To that end, A+E-owned Lifetime has ordered scripted series Un-Real, which will be A+E Studios’ first wholly owned and funded production.

The 10-episode dark comedy is written by Marti Noxon (Mad Men, Fright Night) and Sarah Gertrude Shapiro (Sequin Raze), and gives a behind-the-scenes look at the chaos surrounding the production of a fictitious dating competition show.

A+E Networks will distribute the series internationally.

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