9:00am PT by Bryn Elise Sandberg
Disney Television Animation Fills Out Executive Ranks
Disney Television Animation is rounding out its executive cabinet with five key appointments.
Among the promotions: Eric Coleman as senior vp original programming and general manager; Jonathan Schneider as vp strategy; and Shane Prigmore as vp creative affairs. Additionally, Aaron Simpson and Bonnie Lemon have joined the company as vp development and vp production, respectively.
The announcement was made Wednesday morning by president and chief creative officer of Disney Channels Worldwide Gary Marsh as part of the company's effort to further bolster the content development pipeline for the Disney Junior, Disney Channel and Disney XD branded platforms.
"Through Eric's selfless leadership and firm grasp on every aspect of storytelling, Jonathan's extraordinarily collaborative style and Shane's incredible artistic talent, the TV animation team, led by some of the most innovative minds in the animation industry today, is poised to continue delivering the highest-quality creative content," said Marsh. "We're thrilled to welcome Bonnie and Aaron to our production and development teams to expertly manage the complexity of TVA's productions, both in development and on air, as we continue to expand our content slate."
Reporting to Marsh, Coleman will lead the TV animation studio as it embarks on a diversified slate of programming. He will be responsible for casting and music for series seen on Disney Channel and Disney XD. Coleman has spearheaded the development of the Mickey Mouse cartoon shorts and Gravity Falls, along with new series Star vs. The Forces of Evil.
Schneider, who joined Disney Television Animation in 2010 as director of development and most recently served as executive director of development, will now be responsible for developing and implementing strategic direction and optimizing business operations across the television studio.
Simpson joins Disney from Mondo Media, where he served as head of development and executive produced Fusion TV sketch series Like, Share, Die. He has also produced animation for Warner Brothers, Kids WB, Jib Jab and Sony, and is the founder of popular animation websites Cold Hard Flash and Line Boil. In his new role, Simpson will oversee all development activity, both long and shortform, manage the development team and work closely with current series in order to ensure a smooth transition of each property from pilot to production.
Prigmore, who joined Disney Television Animation in 2014 to develop and serve as co-executive producer and creative director on Tangled, the TV studio's upcoming series based on the feature film, will now provide creative input across multiple departments including development, current series and production to spearhead the TV animation studio's efforts to further expand its roster of artists. Prigmore has previously worked on The Lego Movie, How to Train Your Dragon, Coraline and The Croods. Schneider, Simpson and Prigmore will all report to Coleman.
Lemon joins Disney from DreamWorks Animation, where she most recently served as production executive on feature films including Kung Fu Panda 3, How to Train Your Dragon 3 and The Penguins of Madagascar. In her new role, Lemon will manage both in-house and outside productions across the Disney Junior slate, streamlining the process from development through postproduction. She will work closely with key executives, department heads and creative teams and will report to senior vice president production for Disney Television Animation Lisa Salamone Smith.