9:30am PT by Rick Porter
CBS Studios Taps Sheila Ducksworth to Head NAACP Production Deal
CBS has hired Will Packer Media executive Sheila Ducksworth to head up its development efforts under a deal with the NAACP.
Ducksworth will serve as president of the CBS/NAACP production partnership, supervising development of scripted, unscripted and documentary content across all platforms and designed to tell inclusive stories that give Black artists more visibility.
"Sheila is an extraordinary creative executive with an incredible eye for great content," said George Cheeks, president and CEO of CBS Entertainment Group. "We are excited to draw upon her leadership and experience to establish a production venture that is committed to telling compelling, inclusive stories, while expanding the range of creative voices that bring these stories to the screen."
Said Ducksworth, "I am proud to join the CBS family and to represent an organization as rich in history as the NAACP. And I am thrilled to be working with executives of the caliber of George Cheeks, [CBS Studios president] David Stapf and [NAACP president and CEO] Derrick Johnson to bring exciting and diverse content to the screen. My career has always focused on telling captivating and compelling stories while increasing representation in front of and behind the camera, and this new venture is an opportunity to continue that mission in a dynamic way."
Announced in July, the partnership between CBS Studios and the civil rights organization will establish a dedicated team of executives, led by Ducksworth, and an infrastructure to acquire, develop and produce programming with a focus on improved representation for BIPOC creators, actors and crew members.
"We are delighted to welcome industry veteran Sheila Ducksworth to the NAACP family," said the NAACP's Johnson. "Together, we have the opportunity to create and distribute truly groundbreaking content that speaks to the Black experience."
Ducksworth will join CBS Studios on Nov. 9. She most recently was head of scripted television and production for Will Packer Media. There she oversaw development and production of NBC's comedy pilot Night School (based on the 2018 movie), which is awaiting word on a series order; a Wendy Williams biopic for Lifetime; and OWN's drama Ambitions, among other projects.
She has also headed her own production company, Ducksworth Productions, and worked as head of television for First Move Television and Edmonds Entertainment. She produced the NAACP Image Award-nominated Lifetime movie With This Ring, Showtime's documentary Why We Laugh: Funny Women and Showtime's Soul Food.