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Touchstone TV fills four veepee roles

Touchstone Television’s executive suite is now fully staffed.

Julia Franz, studio’s exec VP in charge of creative affairs, has added or promoted four veepees to Touchstone’s drama, comedy and current programming departments. Studio had needed to fill key roles in current and drama.

New veepees include Michael McDonald and Nicole Norwood (drama development); Carolyn Cassidy (comedy development); and Stephanie Leifer (current).

McDonald helped launch Touchstone’s “Desperate Housewives” and had a hand in developing “Ugly Betty” and “Commander in Chief.” He previously worked at UPN, developing “Veronica Mars” and overseeing current on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”

Norwood had a hand in developing “Lost” and “Six Degrees.” She’d previously been at the WB, working on skeins such as “Gilmore Girls,” “Angel” and “Dawson’s Creek.”

Both McDonald and Norwood report to Touchstone drama topper Morgan Wandell.

Franz credited McDonald and Norwood with playing a key role in the development of Touchstone’s recent string of drama hits. “Their creative instincts have greatly influenced our development slate and the shows we have on the air,” she said.

Over in comedy, Cassidy joined Touchstone from NBC Entertainment, where she was VP of current on skeins such as “The Office,” “Las Vegas” and “Will & Grace.”

She’ll report to Touchstone comedy development topper Jodie Platt.

As for current programming, Leifer arrived at Touchstone earlier this year after ankling her post as head of comedy for ABC, where she had spent the last 12 years. At the Alphabet, she had a hand in developing laffers such “According to Jim,” “George Lopez” and “Drew Carey.”

Leifer reports to Touchstone current chief Steve Tann.

In addition to the new veepees, Touchstone has upped Patrick Maguire to exec director for comedy development and named Nne Ebong as exec director of current programming.

Ebong most recently worked as a development exec at Shaun Cassidy Prods., while Maguire helped oversee development of the ABC midseason laffer “In Case of Emergency.”

Franz said that, collectively, the execs “share a passion for creating great television and a spirit of collaboration that makes that goal achievable.”

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