Alphabet net said as recently as last week that it wouldn't bring back a dedicated department for current programming fare. But with a slew of new series on the fall docket — not to mention aging staples that might need a little more attention — the network is said to be reconsidering.
ABC Entertainment Group prexy Steve McPherson broached the subject with staffers today, insiders said.
ABC hasn't fielded a dedicated current department since last year, when network and studio programming operations were merged under McPherson. As part of the restructure, jobs devoted to current programming were axed altogether — including current department topper Kim Rozenfeld, who moved into a production deal at Disney.
Since then, development execs have also spent time working on current series — frequently sticking with shows after they made it on the air. That scenario has merit: Instead of shoving a series off to a new set of execs once it hits the air, there's a benefit to keeping development execs involved in the current programming operations of shows they had earlier shepherded through.
At ABC, no decision has been made yet — and no exec has been identified as a potential department head.
But if it did happen, the return to a current department would come following a similar decision by NBC. Peacock reinstated its current programming department earlier this month under Vernon Sanders, who was tapped to head the unit as exec VP.
CBS and Fox have maintained current programming departments.
Often considered the unsung heroes of network programming, current program execs are usually the first to go when belts are tightened, but eventually webheads opt to bring back the execs that oversee the ongoing health and production of series already on the air.