Vivian Cannon Named Head of Drama Development at Universal Television

Elaine Low
·2 min read

Vivian Cannon has been upped to the head of Universal Television’s drama development unit, stepping into the role previously held by now-president Erin Underhill.

Underhill was elevated to president of the Universal Studio Group’s TV arm following Pearlena Igbokwe’s ascent to chairman of Universal Studio Group in September.

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Calling Cannon “sharp, passionate and tenacious,” Underhill praised the exec’s deep bench of talent relationships and leadership skills in an email to Universal TV staff.

Cannon first came on board Universal TV in 2017 as senior vice president of drama development. A veteran television producer, Cannon has worked on pilots and series for HBO, Showtime, NBC, ABC and FX, shepherding NBC’s “New Amsterdam” and CBS’ “The Equalizer,” among other series.

Underhill’s full memo to staff can be read below:

I am thrilled to announce that Vivian Cannon has been promoted to Executive Vice President, Drama Development, at Universal Television.

Anyone who’s had the pleasure of working with Vivian knows how sharp, passionate and tenacious she is. She brings a wealth of talent relationships from her producing days, and a love for all forms of storytelling – especially podcasts! She is a strategic thinker, a creative packager, and a tireless champion for diverse voices. Vivian’s innate drive and leadership skills will help UTV continue to expand its drama reach in this competitive and ever-evolving TV landscape.

In Vivian’s recent tenure as Senior Vice President in UTV’s drama department, she has been a driving force on projects including NBC’s hit series “New Amsterdam” (recently renewed for three seasons) and the upcoming CBS drama “The Equalizer” (premiering after the Super Bowl). Earlier, as a TV producer, she produced pilots and series for HBO, Showtime, NBC, ABC and FX, among others. She was executive producer on the AMC drama “Preacher” and developed and produced the pilot. She also executive-produced Showtime’s “The Big C,” which won an AFI Award and was Golden Globe nominated.

Please join me in congratulating Vivian on this much-deserved promotion!

Erin

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