After weeks of speculation that dominated party conversations during the upfronts in New York, NBC today confirmed that head of comedy development Tal Rabinowitz is leaving the network. NBC will revert to combined drama and comedy development and current departments. Head of drama development Pearlena Igbokwe is being named EVP of Drama Programming, which will encompass both development and current operations. Head of current Vernon Sanders is being named EVP of Comedy Programming and will head up development and current operations for comedy series. Sanders will continue to oversee returning dramas during this transition. Both will report to NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke. Rabinowitz was the first new top programming executive brought in by NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt in May 2011, a couple of months after he took the reins of the network in early 2011. Salke joined two months later. NBC has struggled with comedy, with no freshman series making it to second season this past season and only one, About A Boy, accomplishing that this year. The comedy drought has not been limited to NBC, with none of the broadcast networks able to produce a hit the past two seasons. Meanwhile, Igbokwe, who joined NBC in 2012, has been a rising star at the network with a string of strong new series, including The Blacklist, …
NBC Head Of Comedy Tal Rabinowitz Exits As NBC Consolidates Drama & Comedy Development With Current Under Pearlena Igbokwe & Vernon Sanders
We told you first last month that Showtime SVP Programming Pearlena Igbokwe may reunite with her former Showtime boss Bob Greenblatt at NBC. Igbokwe left the pay cable network after 20 years in June after her contract was up. She replaces Laura Lancaster, who is becoming a consultant. Here’s NBC’s release:
UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – July 9, 2012 – Veteran program executive Pearlena Igbokwe has been named Executive Vice President, Drama Development for NBC Entertainment, it was announced today by Jennifer Salke, President of NBC Entertainment, to whom Igbokwe will report. She is replacing Laura Lancaster who will segue into a consultancy role to help with the transition through drama development season.
In her new role Igbokwe will oversee the development of all NBC dramas.
“Pearlena has forged an impressive track record over her successful career that has earned her the admiration of the creative community,” said Salke. “She will bring a unique perspective to development that will help us reach our goal of once again making NBC the home of some of the best and most respected dramas on television.”
Igbokwe comes to NBC from Showtime, where she worked closely with Robert Greenblatt, Chairman of NBC Entertainment, for seven years.
EXCLUSIVE: Showtime‘s SVP Programming Pearlena Igbokwe may reunite with her former Showtime boss Bob Greenblatt at NBC. I’ve learned that Igbokwe is being considered for a new head of current programming position at Universal Television. The studio had been mulling the addition of a current executive in light of its increased volume: Uni TV is adding eight new series heading into next season on top of its returning ones.
Igbokwe, a beloved executive at Showtime, just left the pay cable network after 20 years as her contract was up this month. She was replaced by Imagine TV veteran Robin Gurney, who recently left the production company and is reuniting with her former Imagine TV boss David Nevins at Showtime. I hear that, after spending virtually her entire career at Showtime, Igbokwe had been looking for new opportunities. “It was very bittersweet for her to leave and plenty of tears were shed on her last day,” one insider said. “Pearlena is a wonderful executive, and equally important, she is a high-quality, kind person filled with integrity.”