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Following weeks of negotiations, ABC Family has hired a replacement for Kate Juergens.
Former NBC exec Karey Burke has been named exec vp programming and development at the younger-skewing cable network, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Burke, a development veteran, will report to ABC Family president Tom Ascheim and replaces beloved exec Juergens, who exited her role as exec vp original programming and development and chief creative officer in July.
Burke be charged with accelerating and amplifying ABC Family’s original content on both the scripted and unscripted side. She’ll also oversee development and current original programming, in addition to casting and talent development as well as creating and executing a cohesive programming strategy for multiple platform distribution.
“Karey is a proven hit maker, has worked across all genres of television and successfully held different roles as a buyer, seller and producer,” Ascheim said. “She is a dynamic leader with a vision for our programming that will result in more stand-out, must-commit, must-share content. In collaboration with the programming team she will continue to grow the slate of successful series and build an environment for creativity to flourish. We are thrilled to have her lead our creative vision.”
Added Burke: “I admire what ABC Family has accomplished and am honored to be a part of growing its future. I have a house full of ABC Family viewers and am keenly aware of what the network does right. I’m inspired to be a part of growing the next wave of appointment viewing.”
Before joining ABC Family, Burke and her Dark Toy Entertainment production company, had an overall deal with ABC Studios. She has overseen Emmy-winning series including Friends, The West Wing, Will & Grace and ER, and has chops in the reality sector — where ABC Family is set to make a big push with hidden-camera show Freak Out — having worked on Beauty & the Geek, True Beauty and Game Show in My Head. On the digital side, she was an early pioneer in the space during her days as a partner with Ashton Kutcher at Katalyst Films, where she oversaw the TV division and worked on Miss Guided.
Burke teamed with director Todd Holland to form Dark Toy Entertainment in 2010. The banner produced NBC’s Free Agents and Go On, which both went to series at NBC. She’s developed with Jamie Tarses and served as exec vp primetime series at NBC from 1999-2003, where she oversaw West Wing, Will & Grace, ER and supervised development of series including Freaks and Geeks, Ed, Scrubs, American Dreams, Boomtown and Law & Order: Criminal Intent.
Burke arrives as ABC Family is undergoing a corporate restructure that saw Juergens, a 10-year veteran at the network, exit alongside Lynn Stepanian, senior vp acquisitions and scheduling. Ascheim, who joined the cabler in December, is looking to be seen as a young-adult network rather than one that caters to families with kids as it looks to lure more 20-something viewers.
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