Ayo Davis has been named the Head of Talent and Casting for ABC Entertainment and ABC Studios. Davis, a 13-year ABC veteran, had been the interim head of casting for both the network and studio since November, when longtime ABC casting chief Keli Lee relocated to London where she serves as a managing director of international content and talent for ABC Entertainment Group. Davis has now been named a permanent replacement.
In her first move, Davis has hired WME talent agent Jonathan Bluman as VP talent and casting for ABC. Bluman, who will report to Davis, represented such actors as Mahershala Ali, Benjamin Bratt, Omar Epps, Cheryl Hines, Adrianne Palicki, Melissa Rauch and Maya Rudolph. Any of the clients he worked with at WME will remain at the agency with the existing teams in place.
Davis will continue to report to ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey and EVP of ABC Studios, Patrick Moran.
“Ayo has done an amazing job identifying and bringing new talent into the fold for both the studio and network,” said Dungey. “Her keen eye and proven track record make her perfect for this position.”
Davis, who joined ABC Casting 13 years ago overseeing the pilots for such series as Lost, Desperate Housewives and Grey’s Anatomy, was promoted from VP to SVP Talent and Casting, ABC Entertainment Group, in 2015. In this role she oversaw all scripted primetime casting for ABC, including series Modern Family, How to Get Away with Murder, Scandal, American Crime, black-ish and Once Upon a Time.
Additionally, Davis shepherded the launch of the ABC Discovers Initiative, which includes several programs aimed at finding and nurturing up-and-coming talent from around the world.
Bluman joined Endeavor in 2005, and transitioned to WME in 2009 following the agency’s merger with the William Morris Agency. Prior to that, he was a talent agent at Paradigm from 1994 to 2004.
“Jonathan’s reputation for finding and developing talent precedes him. We’re excited for him to join our team and bring his exceptional skill set to ABC,” said Davis.