Longtime unscripted TV exec Rob Mills has been upped to executive vice president of unscripted and alternative entertainment at Walt Disney Television, expanding his role to lead a newly formed alternative programming production unit, Walt Disney Television Alternative.
“I am honored to be leading this new enterprise as our company continues its efforts to grow the direct-to-consumer business and build on our success at ABC,” said Mills. “I am incredibly grateful to Dana Walden, Craig Erwich and Craig Hunegs for this tremendous opportunity and look forward to collaborating with the talented teams within this expanded portfolio to develop and produce a higher volume of culturally defining unscripted television.”
Mills will report to Walt Disney TV entertainment president Craig Hunegs on the studio side and to Hulu and ABC Entertainment president Craig Erwich on development and production for alternative, specials and late night for ABC and Hulu.
“Rob is a respected and accomplished innovator in the unscripted business and his success is reflected in the countless hours of compelling content he has long championed,” said Erwich. “This promotion is not only a well-earned next step in his career, it also demonstrates our commitment to the type of groundbreaking programming that Rob’s team is known for.”
Mills, who first joined ABC’s alternative division in 2003, has overseen development, current production and specials for a wide range of unscripted series, including “American Idol,” “Shark Tank,” “The Bachelor,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”, “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” and others. The longtime TV exec has also shepherded numerous high-profile network special events, including the Oscars broadcast, the CMA Awards and American Music Awards.
His stewardship of “The Bachelor” franchise — including a hotly anticipated senior citizen edition of the dating show — and the network’s primetime game show strategy has translated to ABC’s properties reaching four of the top 10 highest-rated unscripted series in 2020, namely “The Bachelor,” “The Bachelorette,” and “American Idol’s Monday and Sunday spots. And the three “Disney Family Singalong” specials Mills oversaw drew in just shy of 30 million total viewers after 35 days of delayed viewing on both linear and streaming, said Disney.
“Rob Mills is one of the premier developers of unscripted programming in the industry,” said Hunegs. “We are excited to expand his role to run a new business unit devoted to creating alternative hits for every Disney platform and to produce more of this dynamic programming than ever before.”