Following Pearlena Igbokwe’s elevation to chairman of Universal Studio Group in September, Erin Underhill has been named president of Universal Television, where the longtime NBC exec will oversee the studio’s production and look to expand its output.
“Throughout her 20-plus-year career at NBCUniversal, Erin has been involved with some of our company’s most iconic shows. Her extraordinary instincts for story are unmatched and valued by her team and she has earned the unqualified respect of all our producers,” said Igbokwe. “She brings a deep understanding of the industry and our studio business as well as a high level of emotional intelligence to this role. I’m excited to see her build upon what she has already contributed to the Universal Television legacy.”
Underhill has been with NBC for two decades, joining in 2000 and working at both the studio and the network, on both the comedy and drama sides. Most recently, she has been serving as executive vice president of Universal Television, overseeing drama development, since 2017. The series that have bloomed under watch include “New Amsterdam,” “Good Girls,” “Bates Motel,” “The Bold Type,” “The Path,” “Chicago Fire,” “FBI,” “Friday Night Lights,” “Parenthood,” “Heroes,” “American Dreams,” “Chuck,” “The West Wing,” “ER,” the upcoming Queen Latifah series “The Equalizer” and Jason Katims dramedy for Amazon.
“The opportunity to lead Universal Television, the only studio I’ve ever called home, is a dream come true. I’m very grateful to Pearlena for trusting and believing in me and am honored to lead what I consider to be the best team of executives in town,” said Underhill. “It’s a privilege to work with an undeniable roster of immense creative talent. Together we will continue to expand our reach and tell entertaining, escapist and authentic stories that bring meaning and connection to audiences around the world.”
Over the last two months, Igbokwe has been fleshing out her new leadership team, which includes Masami Yamamoto as president of business affairs and operations, Brad Melnick as chief financial officer, Tracy St. Pierre as exec VP of communications and marketing, Bryan Mu as senior VP of content and cultural insights, Jodi DiCenzo as global head of human resources, and Marni Pedorella as general counsel. Universal Studio Group has also absorbed Universal Television Alternative Studio.