Channing Dungey Named ABC Entertainment President; Replaces Paul Lee

An announcement was made earlier today (from Disney/ABC Television president Ben Sherwood) that executive VP of drama at ABC, Channing Dungey, would replace Paul Lee as the entertainment president at ABC, who ran ABC programming since 2010. This makes Dungey the first African American person to head programming at a major broadcast network.

“Channing is a gifted leader and a proven magnet for top creative talent, with an impressive record of developing compelling, breakthrough programming that resonates with viewers,” said Sherwood. “We thank Paul for his many accomplishments at ABC and his devotion to the ABC brand, and we wish him continued success in the future.”

Dungey, who’s worked with the network since 2009, is known for the development of successful dramas such as, “Scandal,” “Nashville,” “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD,” “American Crime,”  “How to Get Away With Murder,” among others.

Dungey said: “I’m thrilled and humbled that Ben has entrusted me with this tremendous opportunity. And I am truly grateful to Paul for being a valued mentor and friend. I’ve had the great honor of working alongside the talented team at ABC for many years and look forward to starting this exciting new chapter with them.”

This unexpected change is reportedly due to a power struggle at the network between Lee and Sherwood:

Mr. Lee and Mr. Sherwood have repeatedly clashed over control of ABC’s creative pipeline. Mr. Sherwood, whose background is in television news, wanted to be more involved in ABC’s affairs than Mr. Lee allowed. Mr. Sherwood also wanted ABC to focus more on CBS-style procedural crime series like “N.C.I.S.,” while Mr. Lee continued to back serialized dramas like “Scandal” and “American Crime.”

[via Huffington Post]

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