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The CW’s head of casting, Lori Openden, is retiring after a career that spans more than 40 years.
Openden plans to step down later in October. Dana Theodoratos, who has been Openden’s second in command since the launch of the network, will take over the network’s talent and casting department.
“Under Lori and Dana’s guidance, discovering and showcasing rising new talent has been a hallmark of The CW brand since its inception, providing this network with a proud legacy of launching breakout stars that is second to none,” said Mark Pedowitz, chairman and CEO of The CW. “With her vast experience and so many memorable casts and credits to her name, Lori has left an indelible mark on both this network and this industry, and we cannot thank her enough for all of her contributions. And as everyone here at The CW wishes Lori all of the best, we are extremely pleased to have Dana taking the reins and leading our casting efforts going forward, ensuring The CW’s tradition of assembling dynamic casts and breaking new talent will continue.”
Openden began her career in casting on the 1970s sitcom Barney Miller and went on to work for MTM Productions and as an independent casting director, working on shows that included Cheers and Hill Street Blues. She was part of NBC’s casting department from 1985-99, rising to senior vp talent and casting. During her time there, she supervised the casting of some of the network’s biggest hits of the Must-See TV era, including Seinfeld, Friends, ER, Frasier, Law & Order, Law & Order: SVU, Will & Grace and The West Wing.
She began working with CW forerunner UPN in 2003 as a consultant and casting executive before being upped to senior vp talent and casting in 2005. At UPN she began working with Theodoratos, and they cast shows including Veronica Mars, Everybody Hates Chris and Kevin Hill.
Both joined The CW at its launch in 2006 and have collaborated on shows ranging from Gossip Girl to Jane the Virgin to the network’s DC Comics stable.
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