ABC Names Jamila Hunter New Head of Comedy
Replacing recently exited Samie Falvey, Hunter's rise is among Channing Dungey's first major executive appointments.
ABC has tapped its new head of comedy, promoting Jamila Hunter to senior vice president of the department. Her appointment, which comes two months after the exit of former comedy topper Samie Falvey, puts her in charge of development and production for all comedy pilots at the broadcast network.
It's also the first deputy choice made by ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey, who took the reins at the network earlier in 2016. “As one of our industry’s most accomplished executives, Jamila has been instrumental in ABC’s comedy resurgence," Dungey said Friday in a statement. "She brings a unique perspective to this important role, and I’m thrilled to have her leading our efforts.”
ABC is all-in on comedy for the 2016 season, adding a second two-hour block of half-hours to the lineup for a grand total of 10 current sitcoms on the weekly schedule. Hunter's time at ABC, which began back in 2011, has seen her develop a slew of significant additions to the network's schedule, including Fresh Off the Boat, The Real O'Neals and breakout Black-ish.
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter on the eve of the fall season, Dungey said that the successful expansion of Tuesday's comedy block was a top priority this season.
“I’m honored to join Channing’s senior leadership team," said Hunter. "Over the years our network has built a strong comedy brand featuring unique, culturally relevant shows. I’m excited by this new opportunity and looking forward to working with my talented colleagues at ABC as we continue this tradition.”
Hunter's lengthy résumé includes tenures at NBC Entertainment, OWN, 20th Century Fox Television and Bravo.
It's been a big transition year among the top executive ranks at ABC. Prior to Falvey's August exit, Brian Morewitz was promoted to head of drama at the network. He, of course, replaced Dungey, who previously ran the department before being named entertainment chief.