Universal Content Productions, a division of Unversal Studio Group, is expanding its executive leadership team, with the hire of Rebecca Franko and Kenny Tsai as SVPs, Current Programming.
Former Spoondolie Productions’ development exec Franko, and Tsai, formerly with Universal Television, will manage day-to-day current series across cable and streaming platforms for the studio. They will both work with development on series pick-ups, serve as a liaison between production and other studio departments, manage up-and-coming writers for the studio, and build and maintain industry relationships. Franko will oversee Joe vs. Carole, Ted, Gaslit and more. Tsai’s projects include Queer as Folk, The Umbrella Academy, Chucky, among others. They report to JoAnn Alfano, EVP, Scripted Current Series and Head of International Business Development.
“We are thrilled to welcome Rebecca and Kenny to the team to help guide UCP’s growing slate of premium programming,” said Alfano. “Our impressive slate requires equally impressive executives. Rebecca is a highly respected executive and producer with a wealth of experience, and Kenny is a star with a record list of accomplishments.”
Prior to joining UCP, Franko was Head of Development at Spondoolie Productions. During her tenure there, she managed series development and production, and produced Hulu’s Veronica Mars, The CW’s The Lost Boys pilot and co-produced iZombie, also for The CW. Before that, Franko spent 19 years at Warner Bros. Television with 14 of those in current programming, working on series such as NBC’s Chuck, The New Adventures of Old Christine on CBS, Hulu’s 11.22.63, Lethal Weapon on Fox, and The CW’s The 100 and Gossip Girl.
Tsai was previously Vice President, Current Programming at Universal Television, where he was responsible for overseeing a roster of drama and comedy series that include the recently launched Bel-Air on Peacock as well as Netflix’s Master of None and Never Have I Ever, Amazon Prime Video’s Harlem, Peacock’s Saved by the Bell and the Apple TV+ anthology series Little America. He started in the industry as the showrunner’s assistant on HBO’s Emmy-winning Boardwalk Empire before moving over to UCP and, subsequently, Universal Television, where he worked on A&E’s Bates Motel, and NBC’s Good Girls.
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