ABC’s executive shakeup Friday clearly reflects new president Paul Lee’s emphasis on delivering stronger output from the studio.
Patrick Moran has been promoted to senior VP and, in a newly created position, head of creative development for ABC Studios. He’ll report to Barry Jossen, who will remain exec VP of the studio, with a direct line to Lee on creative issues.
Lee was said to be impressed with the drama pilots to come out of ABC Studios — “Once Upon a Time,” “Revenge,” “The River” and “Scandal” — and was looking to see what Moran, the former senior VP of drama series for the studio, could accomplish in a wider-ranging role that incorporates both the drama and comedy genres.
Jossen has been head of ABC Studios ever since Mark Pedowitz left to replace Dawn Ostroff at the CW.
Lee has been disappointed in what the studio delivered on the comedy side. Out of the five laffers ABC picked up for the new season, only one — Christopher Moynihan’s “Man Up” — was from ABC Studios. The Tim Allen starrer “Last Man Standing” is from 20th Century Fox, as is midseason entry “Apartment 23.” “Suburgatory” and “Work It” are both from Warner Bros.
Hoping to improve the studio’s comedy output, Lee is promoting Amy Hartwick to senior VP of comedy development, reporting to Moran. She’ll replace Kevin Plunkett, who will be leaving the Alphabet.
Also shifting to comedy is Lynn Barrie, who arrives from the current side. As senior VP of comedy development she’ll report to Samie Falvey, senior VP of comedy development.
Also drawing new duties will be Vicki Dummer, who moves over from head of alternative to current. Lee is making sure ABC stays viable in its current department after the network eliminated the entire unit a few years ago before bringing it back. Dummer will remain responsible for specials even though she won’t have other reality projects on her plate.
The reality division’s John Saade has been promoted to exec veepee of alternative series and latenight programming. He’ll report directly to Lee.
Lee said of the moves: “These changes bolster the creative strength of our studio with two of our strongest up-and-coming creative executives; empower our current department, which is the heart of the network; and position our successful reality department for even greater achievement in the future.”