Respected TV development executive Jamila Hunter is in talks to join Wiip, sources said. At the independent studio backed by CAA, the former ABC head of comedy would be reunited with former ABC Entertainment Group President Paul Lee, who runs the company, and former ABC Studios head of drama Nne Ebong, who is a senior executive there.
Speculation is that Hunter is poised to re-team with her former colleagues and help out on an interim basis while deciding on her next move. It is unclear whether that could lead to a permanent position at Wiip.
Hunter has been in demand and pursued by a number of companies since she stepped down as President of TV of Kenya Barris’ Netflix-based Khalabo Ink Society last month after less than a year. Early on, she engaged with NBCUniversal, which had approached her for a top programming job at the company’s upcoming streaming platform. I hear Hunter and NBCU are no longer in talks.
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.
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. At ABC, has also oversaw multi-platform comedy development, shepherding original short-form content for the revamped ABC app.
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.
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.