Veteran television executive Karey Burke has been named president of ABC Entertainment, a role that gives her responsibility for all development, programming, casting, marketing, business affairs and scheduling operations for the network’s prime time and late-night lineups.
Burke has spent the past four years at Freeform, Disney’s young adult television and streaming network formerly known as ABC Family, where she is the head of original programming development. Her replacement at Freeform has not been announced.
Burke was named to her new post “following the decision by Channing Dungey to step down from the role,” after 14 years at ABC, where she helped identify and shepherd such shows as “The Good Doctor,” “Scandal,” “How to Get Away with Murder,” “black-ish,” “Designated Survivor,” “American Crime,” “Nashville” and “Once Upon a Time,” according to a statement released by Disney/ABC Television.
Bob Iger, chairman and CEO of the Walt Disney Co., said that at Freeform, “and throughout her career, Karey has proven herself a gifted leader with a strong track record of developing unique programming. Karey’s attention to, and intimate knowledge of, the audience, and a commitment to quality will be a great addition to the creative team at ABC.”
Dungey, who will stay through a transition period as Burke assumes her new role, said in a prepared statement that she’s “incredibly proud of what the team and I have accomplished over the years, and all the meaningful and impactful programming we’ve developed. This job has been the highlight of my career.
“While I’ve loved every moment and knew I could call ABC home for many years to come, I’m excited to tackle new challenges,” she said. “The toughest thing about this choice is leaving all the immensely talented people I’ve grown to admire and care for; from Bob Iger, the best leader and mentor that anyone could have, to my peers and colleagues, to my talented team, whom I will miss enormously. But knowing that Karey is taking over, a person that I like and respect so deeply, makes passing the baton a lot easier.”
Prior to joining Freeform in October 2014, Burke partnered for several years with director Todd Holland (“Malcolm in the Middle,” “The Larry Sanders Show”) in Dark Toy Entertainment, producing “Free Agents” for NBC, as well as Matthew Perry’s comedy “Go On.”
Previously, she joined Ashton Kutcher and Jason Goldberg as the third partner in their company, Katalyst Films, where she oversaw the television division and a slate of scripted and reality programming, including “Miss Guided” and “The Beautiful Life,” in addition to the digital series “Blah Girls” and “Katalyst HQ.”
Before Katalyst, Burke partnered with Jamie Tarses in an overall production deal with NBC Universal Television. From 1999 until 2003, she was executive vice president of primetime series at NBC, overseeing production of all prime-time comedy and drama programming, including “West Wing,” “Will & Grace” and “ER.” During that time, she supervised the development of such series as “Freaks and Geeks,” “Scrubs,” “American Dreams,” “Boomtown,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” and “Ed.” As senior vice president of primetime series from 1996-99, Burke was involved in the development and production of such series as “Friends,” “Mad About You,” “Providence” and “Just Shoot Me.”
Burke began her career as a comedy development assistant at NBC after graduating from UCLA with a degree in communication studies.
Upon completion of the 21st Century Fox acquisition, Burke will report to Dana Walden, chairman of Disney Television Studios and ABC Entertainment.
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!Follow us: