ABC's Claudia Lyon Replaces Peter Golden as CBS Casting Chief

Golden stepped down in May after his name surfaced in connection with controversies surrounding Les Moonves and former diversity and inclusion exec Whitney Davis.
Courtesy of CBS; Monty Brinton/CBS
Claudia Lyon, Peter Golden

CBS has found its new head of casting.

ABC's Claudia Lyon has replaced the embattled Peter Golden and has been appointed executive vp talent and casting for the broadcast network.

Lyon fills the void created by Golden's May resignation. Golden stepped down from his longtime position after his name surfaced in connection with two controversies surrounding culture at CBS.

Golden was mentioned in a New York Times exposé in November about former CBS CEO Les Moonves, in which the casting exec was told to make an offer to actress Bobbie Phillips after she claimed Moonves had sexually assaulted her. In April, former CBS diversity and inclusion exec Whitney Davis wrote in an essay that Golden "doesn't find minority performers to be as talented as white actors." Golden claimed he didn't know the intent behind Moonves' request at the time and called Davis' claims "categorically untrue."

In her new role, Lyon will oversee all talent and casting operations for CBS' primetime and daytime programming, limited series, alternative programs and specials. The news was announced Wednesday by CBS Entertainment president Kelly Kahl and senior executive vp Thom Sherman.

“Claudia’s tremendous experience, impressive insight and obvious passion for the casting process made us stand up and take notice during this search process,” Kahl said in a statement. “She’s highly respected across the industry, and we’re excited to have her join the CBS team.”

Added Sherman: “Claudia has an extraordinary creative perspective and a keen eye for identifying talent, as shown by her impressive résumé. We can’t wait for her to get started.”

Lyon comes to CBS from ABC, where she was vp talent and casting, a role she held since 2006. During her run with Disney, she oversaw casting for all ABC Studios and ABC Signature pilots and primetime series including Grey's Anatomy, How to Get Away With Murder, Black-ish, Grown-ish and Criminal Minds. Before that, she oversaw casting of ABC's Ugly Betty and Modern Family, while also spearheading ABC's global and digital initiatives unit, ABC Discovers. Before joining Disney, Lyon was vp casting and talent at the former WB Network, where she oversaw casting of hits including Dawson's Creek, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Felicity, Gilmore Girls, Smallville, Supernatural and One Tree Hill.

As for ABC, casting head Ayo Davis was promoted to executive vp in June and added oversight of the forthcoming streaming service Disney+ to her purview.