ABC Family has named Karey Burke EVP Programming and Development. Burke was one of a couple of finalists for the job and had been considered a lock for the past few weeks. She replaces Kate Juergens, who left in July. Juergens held an EVP title for most of her 10-year tenure at ABC Family until being named Chief Creative Officer last year. Burke will oversee all scripted and unscripted development and current original programming in addition to casting and talent, reporting to ABC Family president Tom Ascheim.
Burke is returning to the executive ranks 11 years after she left them, exiting a position very similar to one she is taking on now but on the broadcast side — she was EVP Primetime Series at NBC from 1999 until 2003, overseeing scripted programming. She spent the last decade as a producer, partnered with Jamie Tarses, Ashton Kutcher and Jason Goldberg in their Katalyst Film, and most recently director Todd Holland. “Karey is a proven hit maker, has worked across all genres of television and successfully held different roles as a buyer, seller and producer,” Ascheim said. “She is a dynamic leader with a vision for our programming that will result in more stand-out, must-commit, must-share content.”
While Ascheim’s predecessor Michael Reilly didn’t make any major executive changes — with Juergens, who had served as No.2 and head of programming for his predecessor Paul Lee, staying on as his top lieutenant — Ascheim, who joined ABC Family in December, is bringing in a new executive team. The former General Manager of Nickelodeon Television and CEO of Newsweek is surrounding himself with seasoned executives, including Burke and former Style president Coleman Smith, who was named named EVP Strategy and Programming in July.
For the past four years, Burke had been partnered with Holland (Malcolm In the Middle) in Dark Toy Entertainment, a production company that had been based at NBCUniversal and then at ABC Studios, where it has sold several projects this season. The company’s credits include NBC series Free Agents and Go On starring Matthew Perry.
As EVP at NBC, Burke supervised the development of such series as Freaks And Geeks, Scrubs, American Dreams, Boomtown, Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Ed.