Duo heads up ABC alternatives


ABC senior vps Vicki Dummer and John Saade have been given the reins of the network's alternative series, specials and late-night.

Dummer and Saade, both veteran unscripted executives at the network, have overseen the day-to-day operations of the department since April, when ABC's former reality maven, Andrea Wang, departed to head Lifetime, and have been considered the primary candidates to succeed her (HR 4/27).

In their new capacity, Saade and Dummer will jointly oversee development, current and production for ABC's alternative series, with Saade focusing on development and Dummer on current and specials. They will report to ABC Entertainment president Stephen McPherson.

"John and Vicki have impressive track records, incredible creative instincts and really complement each other in their skill sets," McPherson said. "They make a great team and continually discover, develop and execute original alternative programming. Their expanded responsibilities will continue to help ABC excel in the genre."

Dummer and Saade were instrumental in the shepherding of such ABC reality series as "Dancing With the Stars," "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," "Supernanny" and "American Inventor."

ABC had a ho-hum summer with unscripted series "The Ex-Wives Club," "Shaq's Big Challenge," "The Next Big Thing," "American Inventor" and "Fast Cars & Superstars." The network is gearing up for the return of its reality juggernaut "Dancing."

Dummer joined ABC in 1996, when she worked in the network's comedy department, handling such series as "8 Simple Rules," "According to Jim," "Dharma & Greg," "The Drew Carey Show," "Less Than Perfect" and "Whose Line Is it Anyway?" She segued to a split duty in the unscripted and current departments in 2000, when she was upped to vp current programming and alternative series development. Dummer joined the reality department full time in 2004 and, along with Saade, was upped to senior vp two years later.

Saade rejoined ABC's alternative department in 2004 after a yearlong stint as an executive producer on the American version of "I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here."

In his first tour of duty at ABC, Saade was involved in the development of such ABC alternative series and specials as "The Bachelor," "The Bachelorette," "Houston Medical" and "The Mole."