Disney's 20th TV Taps Apple Exec to Lead Drama Development

Michelle Mendelovitz- Publicity - H 2020
Paul Smith Photography

Apple executive Michelle Mendelovitz is headed to 20th Century Fox TV to lead the studio's drama development team.

Mendelovitz will be senior vp drama development at the Disney Television Studios unit, reporting to executive vp comedy and drama development Jennifer Gwartz. She comes to 20th after two years at Apple, where she oversaw series including For All Mankind, Servant and Visible: Out on Television, among others, for the tech giant's nascent streaming platform Apple TV+.

Mendelovitz fills a position previously held by Chloe Dan, who left the studio last year.

"Michelle's the rare executive whose experience spans network, studio and streamer, and she comes with an expertise and deep relationships in the community which will help us as we set out to supply distinctive dramas to all platforms,” said Carolyn Cassidy, president creative affairs at 20th. "She also has a really interesting story personally which informs her creative taste. She has lived both inside and outside the U.S. and talks about how as the daughter of immigrants she wants to bridge cultures and bring fresh voices to television. That is literally one of the guiding principles of 20th and was music to our ears."

Added Mendelovitz, "20th is a studio synonymous with high quality series created by some of the most dynamic talent in the business. I couldn’t be more thrilled to join Carolyn and Jen in their focus to nurture and support creative ideas, push boundaries and empower writers to do their best work."

Mendelovitz joined Apple as a creative executive in 2018. Prior to that, she was vp scripted programming at Sony, working on series including ABC's The Good Doctor, Netflix's One Day at a Time and Bloodline and Amazon's Good Girls Revolt, among others. She began her career at CBS, working on the likes of CSI and NCIS: Los Angeles and helping to develop Chuck Lorre's comedy Mom.

Mendelovitz is the latest addition to the 20th team under Cassidy, who will become solo head of the studio when president of business operations Howard Kurtzman retires in June. Gwartz came aboard in October following the departure of Terrence Carter for Will and Jada Pinkett Smith's Westbrook Studios.