In her new role, Hunter will report to Freeform’s Lauren Corrao, executive vice president of original programming and development. She will oversee unscripted and alternative content as well as scripted programming across the network’s current slate of shows. She is expected to start at the beginning of 2020.
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In addition, Kary McHoul will step down as Freeform’s senior vice president of unscripted and current series programming, a role to which she was promoted last January. McHoul will transition into an executive producer role, overseeing the unscripted series “Wrap Battle,” which is slated to premiere Nov. 25 on Freeform, as well as “Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings,” which will launch on Disney Plus next year.
“I have worked with Jamila many times as both a producer and an executive, and even tried to hire her once,” Corrao said. “Although it took nearly ten years, I feel incredibly fortunate that the time is now and that she chose to join me here alongside the talented team at Freeform. Her impeccable taste, wicked sense of humor and tremendous relationships throughout the talent community undoubtedly make her the perfect choice to lead our Current and Alternative Programming teams as we continue to grow the Freeform brand.”
The move to Freeform marks a return to the Disney fold for Hunter, as well as being the latest in a string of executive positions for her in the past year. She departed her role as the head of comedy for ABC last October to become president of TV for Kenya Barris’ Khalabo Ink Society, but departed that job after less than a year back in August. She then signed on for a temporary role at Paul Lee’s independent studio Wiip, filling in for Nne Ebong, who has been out on maternity leave. It was previously reported that the Wiip position was expected to last until January.
“Creating rich characters that resonate with an audience is a true passion of mine, so I’m thrilled to be joining a network that values bold, distinctive and inclusive storytelling,” Hunter said. “I have tremendous respect for Lauren’s track record as an executive and producer, so the fact that I’m returning to the Disney family and joining her team as they continue to establish Freeform as the cultural leader in young adult programming is truly icing on the cake.”
Hunter was promoted to senior vice president of comedy development at ABC in 2016 after having served as VP since 2011. During her time at the network, she helped shepherd hit shows such as Barris’ “Black-ish,” as well as “Fresh Off the Boat,” “The Real O’Neals,” and “Last Man Standing.” In late 2015, her role was expanded with multi-platform comedy development added to her purview, thus working with talent who develop and produce original short-form content for ABC’s app, plus collaborating with the net’s digital team on marketing and launching each digital series.
Prior to ABC, Hunter was part of the creative team that launched Oprah Winfrey’s OWN, and before that, was senior VP of alternative and digital programming at NBC. From 2005 to 2008, she worked as VP of comedy development at 20th Century Fox Television where she was responsible for developing and overseeing new live-action and animated comedies. She also held the post of VP of development and production at Bravo where she re-branded the channel and was part of the launch teams on “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” and “Project Runway.” She began her career in entertainment at NBC in 1997.
Hunter is repped by attorney Jeanne Newman.
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