It’s almost official. Katherine Pope is expected to say with NBC but get her wish to move back over to the studio side, this time as president of NBC Universal TV Studio, as Variety’s Joe Adalian reports.
Not a bad turnaround for someone who reportedly wasn’t sure what her next move was going to be this time last week. But it’s not unexpected. She’s known to be well-regarded by NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker. Her rise at NBC during the past few years has been impressive, from joining the network as an entry-level development exec during the waning months of Garth Ancier’s tenure as NBC Entertainment chief, to serving as No. 2 in development to freshly ousted NBC Entertainment prexy Kevin Reilly for the past 18 months. For about 18 months before that, Pope served on the studio side in a hands-on development role that she clearly preferred. Shows that have been touched by the hand of Pope during the past few years include, of course, this year’s breakout “Heroes,” “Friday Night Lights,” “Medium,” “Boomtown,” “Crossing Jordan,” Sci Fi’s “Battlestar Galactica” and USA Network’s “Psych.”
Like the rest of the Peacock’s senior management, Pope’s got her work cut out for her in leading the studio operation under newly anointed co-chairmen Ben Silverman and Marc Graboff. But by all accounts Pope is whip-smart, and she had to have moxie to get where she is already in her career. In the new world order at NBC U, Pope’s talents and skills will be even more valuable to her new bosses who don’t have nearly as deep of a background in the nitty gritty of development. And good development is the one thing, some would say only thing other than losta luck, that NBC needs most of all in order to pull out of its fourth-place trench.