Yelena Chak has been promoted to head of drama series development for CBS Entertainment. Chak, who is SVP, will oversee development for the network, reporting to Thom Sherman, Senior EVP, Programming.
Chak emerged as the leading internal candidate to succeed CBS’ longtime head of drama Christina Davis, who left the network in July and has since partnered with writer-producer Michael Seitzman to launch a production company. While executives outside of CBS also were considered for the job, the attention quickly focused on Chak. As Davis’ No. 2, she had been CBS’ most senior drama development executive for the past couple of months, working closely with Sherman, who has extensive background in drama development.
“I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Yelena in action for the last three months, and it quickly became clear that she is the right person for the job,” Sherman said. “She has excellent relationships in the community, as evidenced by the overwhelming number of calls I’ve received singing her praises not only as a great executive, but a great person.”
Chak joined CBS Entertainment in 2007 as Director, Drama Series, and was named VP in 2009. During her time at the network, she has been involved in the development of Bull, Scorpion, Madam Secretary, Hawaii Five-0, Blue Bloods, The Good Wife, Elementary, The Mentalist and Person of Interest, as well as the upcoming dramas S.W.A.T., Seal Team and Wisdom Of the Crowd.
Before joining CBS, Chak worked in drama development at Jerry Bruckheimer Television, where she oversaw such series as Without a Trace, Cold Case, and the CSI franchise. Previously, she worked at NBC, where she participated in the network’s Associate Program, which led to a position in comedy development. Chak began her Hollywood career in the mailroom at UTA.