Former CBS comedy vice president David Himelfarb has been named senior VP of network TV at Walt Disney TV, overseeing development and production of comedies and dramas at the studio.
Himelfarb left CBS last spring after a two-year stint, and last November he landed an overall development and production deal at Walt Disney TV.
In his jump back to the executive ranks, Himelfarb is essentially replacing David Kissinger, the senior VP of comedy and drama series development and a former Variety reporter, who exited Disney in February (Daily Variety, Feb. 6).
Himelfarb reports to Peter B. Aronson, senior vice president of creative affairs at Walt Disney TV, making him third in command at the studio’s network TV division.
“We’ve known David for a long time and we’ve had great respect for his abilities,” said David A. Neuman, president of Walt Disney TV. “We’re excited to have him on our team.”
Since last November, Himelfarb has worked as a Disney producer through his company Sky Dye Prods., He served as supervising producer of Touchstone TV’s now-canceled UPN sitcom “Homeboys in Outer Space,” and co-executive producer on the “Teen Angel” pilot for ABC’s TGIF lineup.
In his new job, he’ll oversee current production of all the studio’s comedies, including “Home Improvement,” “Boy Meets World,” “Teen Angel” and “Genie.” Disney has no dramas on the air this fall, but Himelfarb will oversee development of comedies and dramas in addition to his current programming duties.
While at CBS, Himelfarb helped develop “Cybill” and “Everybody Loves Raymond,” and he left last year when CBS Entertainment president Leslie Moonves assembled his own team at the network.
Himelfarb started his career as an executive at Warner Bros. TV, working on series such as “Murphy Brown” and “China Beach.” He also was previously head of development at Witt-Thomas and Witt-Thomas-Harris Prods. for five years, when he worked on such shows as “Blossom” and “The John Larroquette Show.”
Himelfarb’s appointment comes just a few months after both Kissinger and Kate Adler, manager of development, ankled the studio. Kissinger left to pursue other interests, and Adler joined David Letterman’s production company, Worldwide Pants. Sources say at least one other executive change at Walt Disney TV is imminent.