Hunter emerged as a leading candidate to succeed ABC’s long-time head of comedy Samie Falvey when she departed in early August to head content for AwesomenessTV and Verizon’s new video service. Hunter, who is well liked in the creative community, was considered a front-runner, with VP Comedy Lynn Barrie also considered a possibility.
It took more than two months, but ABC’s new Entertainment President Channing Dungey went with Hunter in the latest promotion within at the Disney network. (Dungey herself was recently upped from head of drama to entertainment president, with ABC’s VP Drama Brian Morewitz succeeding her in the top drama post). Barrie is staying on at the network.
In her new position, Hunter will manage ABC’s Comedy Department, overseeing the development and production of all comedy pilots for ABC Entertainment, reporting to Dungey.
“As one of our industry’s most accomplished executives, Jamila has been instrumental in ABC’s comedy resurgence,” Dungey said. “She brings a unique perspective to this important role, and I’m thrilled to have her leading our efforts.”
After a short, rocky stint as head of programming for then-fledgeling OWN, Hunter joined ABC as VP Comedy in 2011. Since then, she had been a key member of the team that developed and launched a string of successful new half-hour series. She has worked on such projects as the Emmy-nominated and Peabody Award-winning black-ish, Fresh Off the Boat and The Real O’Neals. She also supervised Tim Allen’s return to network television in Last Man Standing, which is now in its sixth season.
Since October 2015, Hunter added multi-platform comedy development to her responsibilities, shepherding original short-form content for the recently revamped ABC app.
Hunter previously was SVP of Alternative and Digital Programming at NBC Entertainment, VP of Comedy Development for 20th Century Fox Television from 2005 and VP of Development and Production at Bravo. She started her entertainment career in the Movies and Miniseries department of NBC in 1997.