After an extensive search, ABC Studios-based producer Mark Gordon ended up staying close to his TV home with his pick for successor to outgoing president of television Deborah Spera, who is leaving next month to become an independent producer. ABC Studios’ VP drama Nicholas Pepper is joining the Mark Gordon Co. as head of drama TV. He will work alongside head of comedy Andrea Shay, reporting directly to Gordon. This represents a change in the executive structure at Mark Gordon Co., which started off exclusively in drama under Spera until recently expanding into comedy with the hire of Shay. As VP drama programming at ABC Studios, Pepper oversaw such series as Desperate Housewives, Lost and Brothers & Sisters. Before that, he spent six years at ABC overseeing Ugly Betty, Pushing Daisies and Commander in Chief, among others. Prior to that, Pepper, a former actor, was Director of Alternative Series and Specials for ABC. Gordon recently re-upped his deal at ABC Studios for four more years. His company’s portfolio includes five series on the air for ABC Studios: ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice, CBS’ Criminal Minds and Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, as well as Lifetime’s Army Wives, and the ABC/ABC Studios’ drama pilot Identity, starring Angela Bassett.