ABC Entertainment Group president Paul Lee has made his expected post-upfront move, reshuffling the executive teams at the network and the studio, with promotions/new roles for John Saade, Vicki Dummer, Patrick Moran, Amy Hartwick and Lynn Barrie.
After months of speculations that Lee won’t keep ABC’s dual leadership structure of the alternative department with the contracts of co-heads John Saade and Vicki Dummer coming up, Lee is indeed going go for a single head of the department. But unlike the last summer changes in the marketing department where one of the co-heads, Mike Benson, stepped down, both Saade and Dummer will be staying at ABC. John Saade, former SVP Alternative Series and Specials & Late-Night, is being promoted to EVP Alternative Series & Late Night Programming, overseeing solo all of ABC’s primetime alternative/reality series and Jimmy Kimmel Live. This is the title Saade and Dummer’s predecessor Andrea Wong held before leaving for Lifetime.
Fellow SVP Alternative Series and Specials Vicki Dummer has been named SVP Current Series and Specials, overseeing all ABC primetime current series and specials. Both Saade and Dummer will continue to report to Lee. Dummer replaces Lynn Barrie, who oversaw current programming for the past season as SVP Current Programming. She was put in that role last summer, shortly before the exit of ABC’s previous topper Steve McPherson. Barrie was previously VP Comedy for the network, having been brought over by ABC head of comedy Samie Falvey from 20th TV, where she was also a comedy executive. Barrie will now return to the comedy department as SVP Comedy Development, reporting to Falvey, also SVP Comedy Development.
The star of Patrick Moran is rising fast at ABC. Eleven months after he joined ABC Studios as SVP Drama Series, Moran is being promoted to SVP and Head of Creative Development for the studio after Lee was reportedly impressed by his first development cycle as head of drama. Barry Jossen, who comes from a production background, will continue as EVP ABC Studios with largely operational and administrative responsibilities. Moran will continue to report to him but will now also have an editorial line to Lee. The setup is reminiscent of ABC Studios’ old days, when former studio president Mark Pedowitz too had a top creative executive, EVP Julia Franz, though Moran now has a dotted line to Lee.
At ABC’s comedy department, Barrie will fill a void that will be left by the departure of VP Comedy Development Amy Hartwick. She is been promoted to SVP Comedy Development for ABC Studios, reporting to Moran. She replaces ABC Studios’ previous comedy head Kevin Plunkett, who is leaving the company. Only one of the five new ABC comedy series for next season, Man Up, hails from ABC Studios. On the drama side, six of the eight shows were developed at the in-house studio. Like Moran, Hartwick has been a rising star at the company, having developed such series as Modern Family, Samantha Who? and Happy Endings.
“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,” Lee said. The moves follow the recent departure of EVP Suzanne Patmore-Gibbs as Lee opted to eliminate the extra layer and directly oversee the network’s development teams.