Karey Burke, ABC Family’s EVP Programming and Development, has completed building her senior team with the appointment of NBC comedy executive Simran S. Sethi as SVP, Original Programming and Development. She joins Jennifer Gerstenblatt, who was recently promoted to VP and head of Current Programming. Sethi replaces Brooke Bowman, who is segueing from her SVP post to a consulting role. Gerstenblatt replaced Kelly Goode who exited the network. Both Sethi and Gerstenblatt report to Burke, who has been charged with spearheading ABC Family’s efforts to double the amount of its original programming.
Sethi, who starts on Aug. 24, will manage ABC Family’s scripted series development team and will have creative oversight over scripted pilots. In addition, she will develop short form scripted shows for the network’s digital platform.
Sethi comes from NBC where she has served as SVP of Comedy Development for four years, helping shepherd upcoming NBC series Superstore and The Carmichael Show, among others. While there, she worked with Burke who was a Universal Television-based producer.
“I loved working with Simran when I was producing and I’m thrilled to bring her energy, taste and passion to this network,” said Burke. “Her eye for bold, original content is perfect for our brand and will usher us into our next era of innovation programming.”
Prior to NBC, Sethi served as VP of Development at Adam Sandler’s company, Happy Madison, and as Director of Development at Sony Pictures Television, working on dramas and current programming, and digital development for Sony’s Crackle.com. Simran began her career in soaps, working as an A.D. for Days of Our Lives.
Burke also commented on Gerstenblatt’s promotion, which we reported last week. As VP Current Programming will lead the current programming team and oversee current series.
“Jenn helped shape and grow iconic series for the network including the social media darling, Pretty Little Liars, the Peabody Award Winning drama Switched at Birth and the very funny Baby Daddy,” said Burke. “Her enthusiasm for her shows is infectious — she advocates for them like a true fan and I’m so glad her passion and hard work is being rewarded and that she will continue to shape the future of our network.”
Gerstenblatt rose through the ranks at the network starting as a programming assistant when she joined ABC Family in 2006. Her most recent title was Executive Director, Programming.
In other ABC Family personnel news, George Chen joins as VP, Strategy and Business Development reporting to Salaam Coleman Smith, EVt, Strategy & Programming, ABC Family, and Karissa Zigarovich joins as Director, Consumer Insights who will report to Ed Isabella, VP Research.