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USA Network Hires Comedy Executive

Melanie Frankel has been tapped vice president of original comedy series.

Continuing in its effort to broaden its efforts in the comedy space, USA Network has named a comedy executive to oversee development and production.

Melanie Frankel, most recently of ABC Studios, will join as vice president of original comedy series, reporting to Bill McGoldrick, senior vice president of original scripted programming.

“As we aggressively expand our scripted portfolio to include half-hours, this is the perfect time to add an experienced comedy executive to our team," said McGoldrick. "We feel lucky to have found someone with Melanie's keen instincts, depth of experience and collaborative spirit as we create our own distinctive brand of comedy with the most talented minds in the genre."

At ABC Studios, Frankel was the lead studio executive for overall and script deals with Mark Gordon Company, Warren Littlefield Company, Stu Bloomberg, Laurie Zaks/Beacon, Jennifer Weiner, among others. She also was involved in the development and oversaw pilots (Great State of Georgia, How to Be a Better American, This Little Piggy) in all aspects of production and was the CBS multicamera comedy Gary Unmarried.

USA Network is in the midst of expanding its programming, recently greenlighting two comedy pilots: the untitled Douglas McGrath project with Nathan Lane and Paging Dr. Freed.

Network co-president Chris McCumber told The Hollywood Reporter of its focus on comedy. "We've always wanted to do shows that are a little bit more based around the family, so we'll use Modern Family as an anchor to help build out our own originals," McCumber said.

The No. 1 cable network also announced that it was moving upfront presentation to broadcast networks' week.