Drama intensifies for NBC exec

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NBC's head of drama Katie O'Connell has been elevated to executive vp drama programming.

She will continue to oversee drama development and current drama programming for NBC, reporting to exec vp Teri Weinberg.

Since taking the reins of NBC's drama department in April 2006, O'Connell shepherded the development of "Lipstick Jungle," "Chuck," "Life" and "Knight Rider" as well as the upcoming series "My Own Worst Enemy," "Kings" and "The Philanthropist."

O'Connell also oversaw the direct-to-series orders for "Crusoe" and "Fear Itself" as well as the acquisitions of BBC's "Merlin" and CTV's "The Listener."

In February, she added oversight of the network's current drama series as part of an executive realignment that put development and current under one roof.

"Katie personifies the qualities of a leader and the understanding it takes to be an entrepreneur in a paradigm-shifting business," Weinberg said.

O'Connell joined NBC in July 2005 as senior vp and head of its New York development office, where she developed and oversaw the pilot for "30 Rock."

Before that, she spent five years at Imagine TV, rising to executive vp development and current programming.

With the promotion, O'Connell joins a growing group of development department heads carrying executive vp stripes that includes ABC's drama maven Suzanne Patmore-Gibbs and CBS' comedy queen Wendi Trilling. (partialdiff)
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