Sr. VP to o'see original movies, scripted series, reality, specials

HOLLYWOOD — ABC Family has named Linda Mancuso head of programming for the Disney-owned cable network.

Mancuso joins from NBC Enterprises-based Peter Engel Prods., where she had been chief operating officer since 1998.

She starts Monday as senior vice president at ABC Family, where she’ll oversee all original movies, scripted series, reality programming and specials. Tom Halleen, who previously served in the capacity, left the company earlier this year amid exec changes that occurred after the Mouse House bought the net. He’s now at AMC Networks.

Mancuso reports to Angela Shapiro, ABC Family Channel prexy.

Exec VP of programming and development Joel Andryc, a longtime staffer who has been with the channel through previous incarnations, will continue to handle alternative programming, including reality, teen and specials. He’ll report to Mancuso.

“The Peter Engel Prods. deal is up at the end of the year at NBC, and Peter and I decided to go our separate ways,” Mancuso told Daily Variety. “When Angela approached me, I thought this was the perfect job for me, and I think the world of Angela.”

Broadened slate

Teen sitcom powerhouse Peter Engel Prods. — whose shows previously fueled much of NBC’s Saturday morning lineup — has broadened its development slate in recent months, since Discovery gained control of NBC’s kids block.

The shingle behind such shows as “Saved by the Bell” and “City Guys” now has a slate of scripted and reality projects for syndication, cable and network consideration (Daily Variety, Sept. 24). Engel will continue to spearhead those projects.

Need for branding

At ABC Family, Mancuso said there’s a need for “a lot of programming and a lot of branding.”

“We’re starting from scratch in so many ways,” she said. “That’s the good news and the challenging news. What a great playground!”

Shapiro said: “Linda’s successful history of creating dynamic, original programming, combined with her creativity and strong relationships within the industry, will be instrumental to our success as we continue to strengthen and build our audience.”

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