ABC Names Jamila Hunter New Head of Comedy

Elizabeth Wagmeister

ABC has named Jamila Hunter senior vice president of comedy, Variety has learned.

Hunter’s promotion follows the exit of longtime head of comedy Samie Falvey, who recently departed for AwesomenessTV where she is now head of content.

In her new position, Hunter — previously ABC’s vice prez of comedy — will manage the network’s comedy department, heading development and production of all comedy pilots.

“As one of our industry’s most accomplished executives, Jamila has been instrumental in ABC’s comedy resurgence. She brings a unique perspective to this important role, and I’m thrilled to have her leading our efforts,” said ABC Entertainment president, Channing Dungey, to whom Hunter will report.

Hunter commented: “I’m honored to join Channing’s senior leadership team. Over the years, our network has built a strong comedy brand featuring unique, culturally relevant shows. I’m excited by this new opportunity and looking forward to working with my talented colleagues at ABC as we continue this tradition.”

Hunter became veep of ABC comedy in 2011. Over the past five years in that position, she has worked on “Black-ish,” “Fresh Off The Boat,” “The Real O’Neals” and Tim Allen’s “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 vice president of alternative and digital programming NBC. From 2005 to 2008, Hunter honed her comedy skills as veep 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 vice president 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.

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