Simran Sethi Reunites With Karey Burke as ABC Centralizes Development

The former Freeform and Netflix India alum will serve as executive vp development and content strategy at the network, which is now centralizing all development.
Courtesy of Freeform/Craig Sjodin
Simran Sethi

Three months after exiting her role atop Netflix India, Simran Sethi is heading back to Disney.

The former Freeform exec will reunite with ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke and serve as executive vp development and content strategy, a newly created position at the broadcast network. Like she did at Freeform, Sethi will report to Burke.

In her new role, Sethi will guide all of ABC's comedy, drama and longform series development. Additionally, she will be charged with developing new content strategies for the network. Sethi will begin the job Monday.

Sethi's new role arrives as ABC and Burke are centralizing all development under Sethi. The network's heads of drama, comedy and longform will all report to Sethi. (The alternative and current departments will remain as is.) Earlier this month at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour, Burke announced plans to push back into longform originals as well. 

"Simran is a creative force with deep relationships across the industry and a proven track record of finding and championing impactful series that resonate with viewers,” Burke said Tuesday in a statement. “I’m so happy to welcome her back to the Disney team. Her fierce passion for developing authentic stories and her exceptional taste will guide our talented development team as we strive to make ABC a leader in brave, quality storytelling.” 

The Los Angeles-based Sethi exited Netflix in May following a nearly two-year run as the streamer's creative director for international originals. She opted to depart the job rather than move to India, sources said at the time. During her run with Netflix, Sethi was instrumental in getting the streamer's Indian originals on their feet, growing the roster from one show to 20. After starting as a creative exec, Sethi rose to director of international originals and has overseen originals including Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children, Ghoul, Selection Day, Delhi Crime, Sacred Games, Baahubali, Leila and Typewriter.  

Sethi joined Netflix in August 2017, following her departure from her role as senior vp scripted originals at Freeform (where she reported to Burke). Sethi has also had roles at broadcast networks (senior vp comedy at NBC, where she developed Superstore, The Carmichael Show), studios (director of development at Sony Pictures TV) and production companies (Adam Sandler's Happy Madison Productions).  

“I am both thrilled and humbled to have the opportunity to once again work with Karey Burke and her trailblazing development team during such an exciting and transformative time at ABC,” said Sethi. “The network is a force in the industry that understands the importance of legacy, creating content that delivers the broadest audience possible and supports projects from start to finish — I can’t wait to be a part of a company whose leadership is truly looking to the future.”