EXCLUSIVE: I hear ABC’s plan to restore the current departments on the network and studio side is moving full steam ahead, and Lynn Barrie and Stephanie Leifer are in negotiations to head the current teams on the ABC and ABC Studios side, respectively. ABC folded current into the drama and comedy development departments a year ago as part of a major executive restructuring that also saw all non-creative divisions at the network and the studio being merged. But a month ago, ABC Entertainment Group president Stephen McPherson indicated that he was considering reverting to the previous setup of separate development and current departments, especially as the network is gearing up to launch 9 new scripted series next season that will need attention in their freshman year. The move follows a similar decision by NBC last month when the network reinstated its current department under EVP Vernon Sanders. CBS and Fox have maintained dedicated current programming departments. Barrie most recently served as VP comedy series at ABC, while Leifer has been VP drama series at ABC Studios.
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