ABC Studios Taps Melanie Frankel as Head of Comedy

Melanie Frankel-Publicity- H 2019
Courtesy ABC Studios

ABC Studios has named a new head of comedy in the wake of longtime executive Amy Hartwick's exit.

Melanie Frankel will take over the position at the Disney-owned studio. She has been with the studio's current department for the past four years, where she oversaw the launch of the ABC drama Stumptown this season. Frankel was also the current executive on the studio's American Housewife and A Million Little Things, both of which also air on ABC.

"ABC Studios is 100 percent talent-focused. Melanie’s long-standing relationships in the creative community and her incredible ability to support and nurture talent at all levels make her the ideal person to run our comedy team," ABC Studios president Jonnie Davis said Wednesday in a statement.

Hartwick, who had led the studio's comedy department since 2011, left in July. Her departure came right on the heels of studio head Patrick Moran being let go as part of a realignment within the larger Disney Television Studios group following Disney's $71.3 billion purchase of 21st Century Fox's entertainment assets. Davis, who had been president of creative affairs at 20th TV, took the top job. Hartwick, however, left of her own accord as she was not affected by the reorganization.

Frankel, a member of The Hollywood Reporter's Next Gen class of 2012, is in her second stint at ABC Studios. She worked in comedy development there from 2007-11 before moving on to be head of comedy development at USA Network, where she oversaw Playing House, Sirens and Benched. Frankel returned to the Disney fold in 2015 as vp current, overseeing comedy and drama series. She also worked in development at Imagine and Kelsey Grammer's Grammnet.