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October 19, 2020 |

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Warner Bros. TV hires former Netflix originals boss Channing Dungey

Channing Dungey

Warner Bros. Television Group has confirmed the appointment of Netflix’s former VP of originals Channing Dungey as chairman, replacing the outgoing Peter Roth.

Dungey left the streamer earlier this month after less than two years in the role, having joined Netflix in December 2018 after a stint as president of ABC Entertainment.

She had been with the US broadcast giant for 14 years but left to work at Netflix with Cindy Holland, who subsequently departed the SVOD when Bela Bajaria was named global head of TV.

Dungey will start at Warner Bros. early next year and reports into former BBC Studios exec Ann Sarnoff, chair and CEO at WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Group.

Her new remit includes oversight of all aspects of Warner Bros. Television Group, which is part of WarnerMedia’s new Studios and Networks Group. This includes the company’s content-focused teams, bringing together the WB Pictures Group, HBO and HBO Max, WBTV, DC, kids/young adults/classics (Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Boomerang, TCM, Cartoon Network Studios, WB Animation), TBS, TNT and TruTV, among others.

Susan Rovner

Balancing HBO Max & third-party product

The appointment, which had been widely expected, comes as Warner Bros. attempts to supply its fledgling streamer HBO Max with new originals while continuing to produce for its third-party clients.

It also follows the exit of Susan Rovner, who had been seen as a natural successor to Roth before she left the company earlier this year to head up entertainment at the recently restructured NBCUniversal.

Sarnoff said: “This is a homecoming of sorts for Channing, who was a production executive at Warner Bros. early in her career, and we’re excited to have her rejoin the studio. Channing is one of the most talented, visionary, creative and respected executives working in television today.

“She’s a great choice to lead the Television Group as it continues to grow its production operations for HBO Max, while also maintaining its standing as the industry’s leading independent supplier of programming to all outlets.”

Dungey added: “I’m thrilled to be joining the company at such a pivotal time in its history and look forward to working with my new colleagues at Warner Bros. and across the Studios and Networks Group to build on the incredible work of my predecessor, Peter Roth. This is such an electric time in our industry, and we have so much opportunity available to us between Warner Bros.’ core businesses and HBO Max, I cannot wait to dive in.”

Peter Roth

Producer potential

Like the outgoing Roth, Dungey has worked closely with an array of leading producers and oversaw some of Netflix’s biggest overall deals with the likes of Shonda Rhimes and Kenya Barris, whom she worked with on a range of projects at ABC, as well as Jenji Kohan, Steven DeKnight, Marti Noxon, and the Obamas’ Higher Ground Productions.

As ABC Entertainment president, she shepherded a wide range of award-winning programming including The Good Doctor, The Rookie, Rhimes’ series Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder and Designated Survivor.

More recently, Dungey played a key role in cancelling Roseanne at the peak of its ratings on ABC, after its star Roseanne Barr sent a controversial tweet about a former staffer under President Obama, Valerie Jarrett.

Dungey’s career in entertainment has spanned both television and film. She partnered with Pamela Post, and formed Dexterity Pictures, a production partnership focused on making both studio and independent films, as well as developing television series.

She also served as president of Material, a film production company with a first-look deal at Warner Bros. Prior to that, she served for five years as a Warner Bros. production executive.

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