ABC TIPPING TAO TO VP

ABC is planning to promote Steve Tao to vice president of drama programming in place of Greer Shephard, who left the company as VP of drama series programming two weeks ago.

Tao, who was Shephard’s No. 2, first joined ABC as a director of drama in 1995 and was promoted to executive director in 1996. The decision to up Tao was made by ABC Entertainment president Jamie Tarses, but he’s expected to report to ABC’s exec VP Rob Dwek.

Since he’s been at web, Tao has helped develop dramas such as “Relativity,” “Dangerous Minds,” “The Practice” and the upcoming “C16,” “Cracker,” “Timecop” and “Nothing Sacred.”

Before ABC, Tao spent six years as an executive at Walt Disney Pictures and Hollywood Pictures, helping develop features such as “The Three Musketeers,” “The Doctor” and “Hocus Pocus.”

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