EAfter a year and a half away from the spotlight, Andrea Wong is rejoining the executive ranks with top international positions at Sony Pictures Entertainment. The former CEO of Lifetime, who had been rumored for virtually every high-profile TV executive job that became available in the past 18 months, has been named President of International Production for Sony Pictures Television and President of International for SPE. She will be based in London.
In her SPT position, Wong will head the studio’s international TV production business, reporting to SPT president Steve Mosko. She will oversee SPT’s 15 owned and joint venture international production companies. Wong will shepherd the development of new formats as well as the local adaptations of SPT-owned formats, primarily on the unscripted side. The studio’s library of reality formats, which was boosted by the 2008 acquisition of Dutch company 2waytraffic, includes Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, Dragon’s Den and Pyramid. Additionally, SPT has been setting up local versions of its daytime talk show Dr. Oz and some of its library sitcoms, including The Nanny, Married … With Children and Everybody Loves Raymond. It was Wong’s successful tenure as head of alternative and late-night at ABC, where she developed such hit franchises as The Bachelor, Dancing With the Stars and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, that was key in landing her the SPT job, which is skewed heavily towards reality. “Andrea’s business acumen and her role in developing successful unscripted programming like Dancing With the Stars and The Bachelor make her a perfect fit for SPT,” Mosko said.
Wong replaces Kees Abrahams, who is stepping down as president of international production for SPT. Abrahams, former CEO of 2waytraffic, had been overseeing SPT’s international production operations since 2waytraffic’s acquisition. “Kees’ entrepreneurial spirit has been instrumental to the growth of our television production business internationally and we thank him for all of his efforts,” Mosko said. Added Kees, “I think it is now time for me to pursue some new commercial opportunities, and I wish Sony well.”
As President of International for Sony Pictures Entertainment, a newly created position, Wong will serve as SPE’s liaison oversees on matters related to international production, reporting to SPE chairman and CEO Michael Lynton and co-chairman Amy Pascal. SPE currently has offices in 39 territories. Wong will be tasked with championing internationally SPE’s business and political agendas, working closely with various corporate groups such as Government Affairs based in Culver City as well as SPE’s other business units. “Andrea will be an important ambassador for Sony Pictures in the international marketplace,” Lynton said. Added Wong, “There has never been a better time to be globally focused, and I look forward to collaborating with Sony’s strong creative team to build and produce great programming worldwide.”
Wong, who serves on the board of Liberty Media Corp, segued from her highly successful turn as EVP alternative programming, specials and late-night at ABC to a rocky three-year stint as president and CEO of Lifetime Networks, which ended when the company was taken over by A&E Television Networks last year. During her tenure there, Wong oversaw the launch of Lifetime’s flagship drama series Army Wives and orchestrated the high-profile acquisition of Project Runway but wasn’t able to stem the cable network’s ratings erosion.