Casey Bloys Elevated at HBO, Drama Head Michael Ellenberg Departs

The exec shuffle comes as HBO has been weathering a number of storms on its upcoming series.
Courtesy of HBO
Casey Bloys & Michael Ellenberg

HBO is promoting one of its top executives and saying goodbye to another.

Head of comedy Casey Bloys has been upped to president of HBO series, late night and specials. Meanwhile, executive vp drama Michael Ellenberg has exited his post and entered into a production deal with the premium cable network instead.

“It is never easy when someone of Michael’s talent decides to move on. He leaves us with an exceptional slate of drama programming, including our upcoming premiere of Vinyl and the recently announced David Simon series The Deuce. Michael will be missed, and I thank him for graciously agreeing to assist in this transition period,” said HBO programming president Michael Lombardo on Friday in a statement. “Casey is a seasoned executive and this presents an exciting opportunity to expand his role at the company. He is an esteemed programming executive that the industry holds in the highest regard. We believe that by consolidating drama and comedy under his leadership that both genres will greatly benefit.”

Named executive vp programming in 2013, Bloys has overseen HBO’s comedy series, late night and specials. Among the projects he’s been involved with are Flight of the Conchords, Eastbound and Down, Veep, Girls, Ballers, Silicon Valley, Enlightened and Getting On, as well as the upcoming series Divorce from Sarah Jessica Parker and Sharon Horgan and Insecure from Issa Rae. Bloys joined the pay cabler in 2004 as director of development for HBO Independent Productions (HIP) and was promoted to vp in 2005. A year later, he was named vp of HBO Entertainment, spearheading the development and production of comedy series, and then later elevated to senior vp in 2009.

For his part, Ellenberg joined HBO in 2011 to head up drama series as HBO Entertainment senior vp and was upped to executive vp drama in 2013. In addition to overseeing the network’s dramas, including True Detective, The Leftovers and Game of Thrones, he also oversaw the development of upcoming series Vinyl, Westworld, The Young Pope, Big Little Lies and The Deuce. Prior to joining HBO, he spent four years at Ridley Scott’s Scott Free Productions as senior vp, working on the production of Prometheus as well as Robin Hood, Cyrus and the upcoming Child 44. Before that, Ellenberg spent three years at Scott Rudin Productions in Los Angeles as a vp.

The exec shuffle comes as HBO has been weathering a number of storms on its upcoming series. In August, David Fincher cut ties with the network and dropped both of his projects, Utopia and Video Synchronicity. Then last week, word got out that the cabler’s upcoming (and expensive) big swing, Westworld — which has long been the subject of swirling rumors about a messy process — had shut down production in order to give creators Jonah Nolan and Lisa Joy more time to catch up on their four remaining scripts. 

And while the network has opened the door to for a third installment of True Detective (despite the widely panned second season), the future of the crime anthology series hangs in the balance, as creator Nic Pizzolatto has yet to make a decision about moving forward on the series. In the meantime, HBO is readying the launch of '70s music drama Vinyl, as well as the return of Game of Thrones, Veep and Girls.