Days after Peter Rice unveiled the structure of Disney’s General Entertainment division for TV content, which included a new Disney Branded Television unit run by Gary Marsh, the former president and chief creative officer for Disney Channels Worldwide announced his first major hire.
Longtime Disney TV casting executive Ayo Davis has been named to the newly created position of EVP, Creative Development and Strategy, Disney Branded Television. She will oversee all live-action programming created by Disney Branded Television for Disney+ and the Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior networks– scripted and unscripted series, movies and specials — reporting to Marsh, President and Chief Creative Officer, Disney Branded Television.
The Disney Branded Television division is responsible for all Disney-branded television content made by DGE for kids, tweens, teens and families, as well as unscripted series and specials. That includes all shows the Disney television production teams make for Disney+. As part of the recent restructuring, the Disney+ Unscripted Content and Production teams moved to Rice’s DGE group under Marsh.
Davis, a 18-year Disney casting executive veteran, most recently served as EVP, Talent and Casting, ABC Entertainment and Disney+. She had been looking to branch out beyond casting and was considered for other high-level programming positions within Disney’s TV divisions over the past couple of years.
Executives reporting directly into Davis include:
• Jonas Agin, VP, Original Series
• Kory Lunsford, VP, Current Series
• Lauren Kisilevsky, VP, Original Movies
• Dan Silver, VP, Originals, Unscripted Content
• Judy Taylor, SVP, Casting & Talent Relations
• Theresa Helmer, Executive Director, Integrated Content Strategy
• Vicki Ariyasu, SVP, Educational Resource Group
During her tenure as a Disney TV casting executive, Davis, whose promotion was first reported by THR, oversaw casting on ABC’s The Good Doctor, the Emmy-winning American Crime and How to Get Away with Murder, and the Peabody-winning black-ish. Among her other contributions is the launch of ABC Discovers, a host of casting initiatives that aim to discover, nurture and create powerful opportunities for up-and-coming talent from around the world. Alumni of the program include Lupita Nyong’o, Gina Rodriguez and Pedro Pascal.
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