Universal TV Bolsters Drama Department With Erin Underhill, Vivian Cannon

Underhill has been promoted to senior vp, while Cannon joins the studio after a long collaboration at Original Film.
Courtesy of Universal Pictures
Underhill, left, and Cannon

Universal Television is bolstering its drama department.

A year after Russell Rothberg exited his position as exec vp drama at the studio to run AwesomenessTV, UTV has promoted Erin Underhill to the role and enlisted longtime Original Film partner Vivian Cannon as senior vp drama.

Underhill, who originally reported to Rothberg, will now report to UTV president Pearlena Igbokwe; Cannon will report to Underhill and assume her former position.

"I have been nothing short of amazed by Erin’s work ethic and talent this past development season,” Igbokwe said. “She is well regarded by all our producers because she brings an extraordinary instinct for great characters and stories to the table.”

In her tenure as senior vp drama, Underhill oversaw The Brave, Good Girls, Reverie and Rise — all of which were picked up to series at NBC — as well as CBS' Wisdom of the Crowd. Her credits at the studio also include Friday Night Lights, Parenthood, Southland, Bates Motel, Chuck and Chicago Fire, among others. She originally started her career at NBC in 2000 as vp drama and current series during which she oversaw The West Wing, ER and American Dreams.

Cannon, meanwhile, moves from running a prolific production company whose credits include Preacher and The Big C, among others.

“Vivian’s deep well of relationships and her tenacity make her a perfect addition to the already incredible Universal Television team,” Igbokwe said.