20th Century Fox Television has appointed Apple TV+ executive Michelle Mendelovitz as SVP and head of Drama Development. The position had been vacant since Chloe Dan stepped down in July after two years in the top drama post.
Mendelovitz will lead the label’s drama team, reporting to EVP of Development, Comedy and Drama Jennifer Gwartz. With her hire, 20th TV has become a rare major TV studio with all-female top creative/development team, President of Creative Affairs Carolyn Cassidy, EVP Development Gwartz and heads of drama (Mendelovitz) and comedy (Cheryl Dolins).
Mendelovitz joins 20th TV from Apple, where she worked as a Creative Executive since 2018, developing scripted and documentary series for the Apple TV+ streaming service. She oversaw such series as For All Mankind, Servant and the LGBTQ docuseries Visible: Out On Television, in addition to the upcoming Severance, Defending Jacob starring Chris Evans, Simon Kinberg’s Invasion and the Oprah Winfrey and Prince Harry mental health documentary series.
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Before that, Mendelovitz worked at Sony as VP, Scripted Programming where she oversaw such series as Bloodline for Netflix, The Good Doctor for ABC, Good Girls Revolt for Amazon, One Day at a Time for Netflix and Future Man for Hulu.
Mendelovitz began her career at CBS in 2006. There, she worked on such shows as CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, NCIS: LA, The Big Bang Theory and helped develop Mom.
It was the range of Mendelovitz’s experience, which includes stints at a traditional Hollywood studio, a broadcast network and a streamer, that was key to Cassidy’s decision to hire her in for the top drama job as 20th TV is adjusting the scope of its portfolio to produce for broadcast networks as well as the Disney-owned/controlled streaming platforms, Disney+ and Hulu, along with outside SVOD platforms.
“Michelle’s the rare executive whose experience spans network, studio and streamer, and she comes with an expertise and deep relationships in the community which will help us as we set out to supply distinctive dramas to all platforms” said Cassidy. “She also has a really interesting story personally which informs her creative taste. She has lived both inside and outside the US and talks about how as the daughter of immigrants she wants to bridge cultures and bring fresh voices to television. That is literally one of the guiding principles of 20th and was music to our ears.”
Cassidy is referring to Mendelovitz’s background. She was born in California to an Israeli-immigrant mother and a Mexican-American father. She grew up in Los Angeles before moving to Israel where she spent seven years, including getting a BA in International Business and an MBA and starting her career.
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