Disney development exec joins Alphabet in VP slot

Disney development exec Susan Lyne has been tapped exec VP of movies and miniseries for ABC.

Lyne, formerly exec VP of acquisitions, development and new business for Walt Disney Pictures & Television, will oversee development and production of all longform projects for the Alphabet web. Lyne will succeed ABC senior VP Barbara Lieberman, who has ankled after eight years to pursue other projects.

Lyne said she’s encouraged by signs that TV viewers are responding to substantive made-fors like the Oprah Winfrey-produced miniseries “The Wedding,” which scored big numbers for ABC last month. She’ll be scouting for narrative and character-driven stories with the potential to attract top stars and creative talent.

ABC has hit paydirt this season with its revival of the “Wonderful World of Disney” movie showcase on Sundays from 7-9 p.m., but its 9-11 p.m. Sunday made-fors generally haven’t fared as well against stiff competition from Fox’s “The X-Files” and the CBS Sunday movie.

Lyne spent the past two years at Disney developing projects for the Mouse House’s feature and telefilm divisions. Among the projects Lyne shepherded at Disney were the upcoming Michael Mann-produced pic about tobacco industry whistleblower Jeffrey Wiegand and “Doubt,” a feature project about slain Irish journalist Veronica Guerin.

Lyne joined Disney after serving nine years as the founding editor-in-chief of Premiere magazine. She also served stints as managing editor of the Village Voice and New Times. Prior to launching Premiere, she was a development exec for Jane Fonda’s and Bruce Gilbert’s IPC Films.

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