NBC Ups Igbokwe, Sanders to EVP in Restructuring of Programming Divisions

Comedy development head Tal Rabinowitz leaving the company

NBC, coming off a winning season in which it introduced hot drama “The Blacklist,” is making changes in its scripted programming operations.

Jennifer Salke, President of NBC Entertainment, on Tuesday announced a restructuring that will see the previously separate development and current areas combined into two programming divisions — drama and comedy series. Also, the network’s comedy development head is ankling.

The changes are effective immediately.

Pearlena Igbokwe, formerly head of drama series development, is being named Executive Vice President of Drama Programming, which will now encompass both development and current operations for all drama series.

Vernon Sanders, formerly head of current programming, is being named Executive Vice President of Comedy Programming and will head up development and current operations for comedy series. Sanders will continue to oversee returning dramas during this transition.

Both will report to Salke.

Tal Rabinowitz, who has been head of comedy development since 2011, will leave the company under the restructuring.

“I’m excited about this new structure because I believe it will strengthen our programming by essentially eliminating the often difficult handoff going from the development of a new show into the current process,” said Salke in a staement. “Also, I believe that we have two of the best and most creative executives in the television business in Pearlena and Vernon, who will now be the chief lieutenants of scripted programming from the inception of an idea through the life of a show.

“I also want to thank Tal Rabinowitz, who has been an invaluable comedy resource for us during the rebuilding of this network, for her passion and dedication to this company for the past three years.”

Sanders is a longtime veteran of NBC and has been head of current programming for the last several years, having a hand in every successful show on NBC during that period.

Igbokwe came to NBC two years ago from Showtime, where she was involved in the development of many hits on the premium cabler. In her first development season at NBC, she delivered “The Blacklist” and “Chicago PD,” two shows that will return next season to NBC.

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