Disney Television Studios Restructures to Just 2 Studios: 20th Television and ABC Signature

Disney has announced a major reorganization for their General Entertainment division, which produces episodic content for TV and streaming platforms.

What’s Happening:

  • Dana Walden, Chairman of Entertainment, Walt Disney Television, has reorganized the divisions she oversees as part of the broader restructuring of Disney’s content creation divisions that began in October in an effort to separate content creation from distribution and commercialization. Click here for more information on the previous reorganization announcement that also affected Disney’s film production divisions.
  • Under this restructure, there will be just two Disney Television Studios: 20th Television and ABC Signature.
  • Karey Burke will become President of 20th Television. She was previously President of ABC Entertainment and her career has included overseeing NBC shows like Friends and ER and Freeform hits like The Bold Type, grown-ish, and Good Trouble.
  • Carolyn Cassidy will be Executive Vice President, Development, and Jane Francis will be Executive Vice President, Series, at 20th Television.
  • Jonnie Davis will remain in the role of President of ABC Signature, which recently produced number 1 shows for both ABC and Hulu, Grey’s Anatomy and Little Fires Everywhere.
  • Karey Burke and Jonnie Davis will report to Dana Walden, supplying content for Disney+, Hulu, ABC, Disney Channel, Freeform, FX, National Geographic, and third parties.
  • With the sunsetting of Touchstone Television, President Bert Salke will continue working with Disney through a multi-year production deal with Disney Television Studios.
  • Craig Erwich is now President of Hulu Originals and ABC Entertainment, formerly helming Hulu Originals, and now oversees original content teams that choose and manage development of shows for Hulu Originals and ABC Entertainment.
  • Tara Duncan will continue in her role as President of Freeform and will manage the same responsibilities for that network.
  • Craig Hunegs, President of Disney Television Studios, will become President of Entertainment, Walt Disney Television, where he will lead centralized Business Affairs, Production, Casting and Creative Talent Development & Inclusion teams.
  • The newly formed 20th Animation will also fall under Craig Hunegs along with a new unscripted programming unit.
  • Shannon Ryan, President, Content Marketing, Hulu and General Entertainment will oversee the centralized marketing and publicity for programming created by Walt Disney Television.

What They’re Saying:

  • Dana Walden, Chairman of Entertainment, Walt Disney Television: “This has been an incredibly challenging but successful year. Our television studios produce many of the top-rated shows in the industry. ABC is now the No. 1 entertainment network and the Hulu Originals team launched their most successful slate yet of critically acclaimed, award-winning, high-performing shows. I am proud of our exceptional leadership team and all we have accomplished, but the media landscape is changing and this reorganization better positions us for the future. The changes we are announcing today are in service of three goals: rightsizing our organization, streamlining functions across our studios and original content teams, and strengthening our partnerships with the extraordinary creators who call Disney Television Studios their home.”
  • Peter Rice, Chairman, Disney General Entertainment Content: “Dana is a hall of fame television executive leading an all-star team of the best and brightest creative leaders in Hollywood. This new organization under Dana will allow us to compete amidst a transforming industry by attracting the best talent, encouraging creative risk and facilitating the creation of groundbreaking series.”