EXCLUSIVE: Veteran NBC executive Vernon Sanders is exiting his post as EVP Current Programming at the network and is leaving the executive ranks to become a producer. He has signed an exclusive overall producing deal with NBC sibling Universal Television.
At the studio, run by president Pearlena Igbokwe, the well-liked Sanders will serve as a producer on the recently announced Amazing Stories anthology series reboot for Apple, which Uni TV is producing with Amblin TV. It will be one of a number of projects he is expected to work on.
“This was a not an easy decision, and the next chapter is truly bittersweet,” Sanders said. “I feel extraordinarily lucky to have worked at NBC during this amazing renaissance. (NBC Entertainment chairman) Bob Greenblatt and (Entertainment president) Jennifer Salke have been incredible leaders, friends and mentors. I look forward to crafting compelling, diverse and big-tent television beside Jen, Pearlena and the rest of the NBCU team.”
In his second stint as NBC head of Current Programming after a year break to run comedy from 2014-2015, Sanders has overseen such NBC series as This Is Us, The Blacklist, The Good Place, Dick Wolf’s Chicago franchise, and the recent revival of Will & Grace.
Previously, Sanders served as SVP Drama Programming, both the network and studio, overseeing such series as Parenthood and Friday Night Lights, as well as EVP Comedy Programming.
“Vernon has been instrumental to the success of NBC these past few years and I personally wanted to make it my mission to help him achieve his aspirations of becoming a producer, while also finding a way to keep him as part of the family,” said Salke, to whom Sanders reported and who oversees Uni TV. “He is a trusted and invaluable creative partner to so many and I know we all feel remarkably fortunate to be able to continue to work very closely with him.”
This marks a return to the studio for Sanders. From 2007-2008, he served as SVP Comedy Series for Uni TV predecessor Universal Media Studios, shepherding such series as the Emmy-winning 30 Rock and The Office. Sanders also led the first year of the studio’s Director in Training program.
“After working with Vernon for four years as a colleague at NBC, I know what an incredible asset he is and how much value he will bring to the studio as a producer,” Igbokwe said. “I’m thrilled that I still get to be a part of this new phase in Vernon’s career.”
Sanders is repped by Bob Myman of Myman Greenspan.