ABC is thinking globally as part of its upcoming executive shuffle.
Alphabet net is expected to expand movies and miniseries chief Quinn Taylor’s oversight to include programming acquisitions.
Under the setup, Taylor would be tasked with combing the globe for formats that could be adapted by the Alphabet and its sister ABC Studios, as well as international productions that could be acquired by and aired on the net.
Such duties would come on top of Taylor’s continuing efforts as head of longform at ABC. But with fewer movies and miniseries being aired at the networks, the expanded mandate would give the well-respected exec a chance to remain a key part of the net’s programming team.
Taylor’s new role comes as ABC prepares to unveil its structure in the wake of its network-studio merger under entertainment prexy Steve McPherson.
As had been expected, the Alphabet waited until after the upfronts to start putting the combined regime in place. An announcement is still at least a week away but will likely center on streamlining the number of direct reports to McPherson.
According to insiders, key lieutenants who will report directly to McPherson are expected to include Suzanne Patmore-Gibbs, who will now head up all scripted development for the network; Barry Jossen, who will similarly head up the studio; scheduling and program strategy topper Jeff Bader; and business affairs exec veep Jana Winograde. A few others are expected to be on that list as well.
Taylor’s global emphasis comes as the networks increasingly look abroad for ways to cut costs and add more lower-priced fare to their schedules.
Assignment makes sense for Taylor given that international acquisitions and co-productions are frequently limited-run series — either 13 episodes or minis.
ABC has already been busy picking up international productions. Sunday and Tuesday it aired the Judy Davis starrer “Diamonds,” which was distribbed by Alchemy and produced for Canada’s CBC. Later this summer the net will air the Germany-produced disaster drama “Impact.”
Taylor is also closely working with Alchemy on next year’s international co-production “Ben Hur.”
Taylor has been a movies and minis exec at ABC since September 1996 and has headed up the department since 2002. His credits include developing longforms such as “A Raisin in the Sun,” “The Music Man,” “Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows” plus “The Wonderful World of Disney,” “Oprah Winfrey Presents” and Stephen King miniseries.