EXCLUSIVE: Jamila Hunter is eying a return to NBCUniversal. I hear that Hunter is leaving Kenya Barris’ Netflix-based Khalabo Ink Society after less than a year for a new opportunity and has been in conversations for a top programming job at NBCUniversal’s upcoming ad-supported streaming service and potential Netflix rival, which is run by Bonnie Hammer. A rep for NBCU declined comment.
A respected development executive and former ABC head of comedy, I hear Hunter is being pursued by multiple companies and has engaged with NBCU, though it is unclear whether she would ultimately go there.
Hunter started her entertainment career at NBCU in 1997 with a job in the Movies and Miniseries department of NBC and a promotion to VP of Development and Production at Bravo. She also did a stint as SVP of Alternative and Digital Programming at NBC Entertainment, one of multiple positions she has held that involved digital content. At ABC, has also oversaw multi-platform comedy development, shepherding original short-form content for the revamped ABC app.
The biggest programming move for NBCUniversal’s upcoming streaming service so far has been the acquisition of The Office. On the original programming side, the streamer, slated for an April 2020 launch, has big-budget drama series Brave New World, originally picked up by NBCU’s USA Network; YA mystery drama pilot One of Us Is Lying, which had been in the works at E!; and a third season of comedy A.P. Bio, whose first two seasons aired on NBC. Additionally, the Queer of Folk reboot, which had been in the works at NBCU’s Bravo, has now moved to the streaming platform among other series in development.
In joining Khalabo Ink Society last fall as President of TV, Hunter reunited with Barris after working closely with him on his ABC projects, including Emmy-nominated and Peabody Award-winning series black-ish and a couple of pilots, including grown-ish.
Hunter oversaw Khalabo Ink Society’s slate under Barris’ big overall deal at Netflix. It includes three new series for the streaming platform, comedy Black Excellence, in which Barris stars alongside Rashida Jones, a sketch-comedy series starring the New York-based improv troupe Astronomy Club, and Entergalactic, an adult animated music series based on Kid Cudi’s upcoming album of the same name by rapper, singer and actor Kid Cudi. I hear there will be no immediate replacement.
Hunter joined ABC as VP Comedy in 2011 and took the reins of the department in 2016. Since then, she was a key member of the team that developed and launched a string of successful new half-hour series and worked on such projects as Barris’ black-ish, as well as Fresh Off the Boat. She also supervised Tim Allen’s return to network television in Last Man Standing.
Hunter’s resume also includes a run as VP of Comedy Development for 20th Century Fox Television and a brief stint as head of programming for then-fledgling OWN.