ABC has quickly filled the vacancy atop its unscripted department, closing a deal with former E! Entertainment president of entertainment programming Lisa Berger to replace John Saade, who exited on Friday. She will be holding the same title, EVP Alternative Series, Specials and Late-Night, overseeing development and current programming in those three areas.
At ABC, Berger will be charged with finding new reality hits; besides Shark Tank, the network’s only other successful unscripted franchises on the air — Dancing With The Stars and The Bachelor — are more than a decade old. None of the network’s reality efforts over the past couple of years have stuck though there have been modest successes like Secret Millionaire and The Taste.
During her nine-year tenure at E!, Berger shepherded such hit unscripted series as The Girls Next Door, Keeping Up With The Kardashians and its offshoots, and late-night staple Chelsea Lately. The experience on Chelsea Lately will come in handy as Berger’s domain at ABC also includes late-night where ABC has Jimmy Kimmell Live. Before E!, she was a creative executive at Fox Television Studios Production and MTV.