Lauren Corrao Joins Freeform As Head Of Original Programming

photo: Freeform/Matt Petit

Lauren Corrao is returning to the network ranks. After an extensive search, the former Comedy Central original programming head has been named EVP, Original Programming and Development for Freeform.

Corrao fills the head of original programming job at the Disney-owned cable network catering to millennials, which had been vacant since Karey Burke in November was named President of Entertainment for sibling ABC.

Corrao, who calls herself “a mother to two awesome millennials,” will oversee all scripted and unscripted development and current original programming, as well as casting and talent development for Freeform, focusing on content and inclusive storytelling aimed at young adults. She will report to Freeform president Tom Ascheim.

“Lauren’s wealth of experience coupled with her incredible creative instinct as well as close working relationships with many talented writers and producers will be invaluable to Freeform,”  Tom Ascheim said. “In collaboration with the programming team, she will undoubtedly grow our slate of successful series and continue to build an environment for the talent community to tell powerful stories that become a lasting part of the cultural zeitgeist.”

Corrao most recently she was co-president of Tornante TV, the independent studio owned by former Disney CEO Michael Eisner, where she developed and executive produced several projects, including AMC’s upcoming horror-fantasy series, NOS4A2.

Corrao previously spent eight years at Comedy Central rising to President, Original Programming and Development. During her time there she oversaw The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report. She also developed and oversaw Chappelle’s Show, RENO 911, The Sarah Silverman Program, Tosh 2.0, Workaholics, and the network’s event programming, such as the Comedy Central Roast franchise, the Night of Too Many Stars autism benefit and many one-hour standup comedy specials.

Corrao’s extensive resume also includes stints at Fox Broadcasting Co., overseeing alternative and late-night programming with series such as Mad TV, King of the Hill and That 70’s Show, as head of Ellen DeGeneres’ Warner Bros. TV-based company, and a production deal at Touchstone TV, partnering with Emmy Award-winning writer Peter Tolan. Corrao began her career at MTV where she rose to the rank of VP and executive producer. She oversaw the development and production of such shows as The Real World, The State, The Ben Stiller Show and The Jon Stewart Show.

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