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Former ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey Joins Shonda Rhimes and Obamas at Netflix

A month after it was announced that Channing Dungey would be exiting ABC, news broke that the former head of the network’s entertainment division is joining Netflix.

Dungey is going to work for the streaming giant in a newly created role of Vice President of Original Content, Deadline reported Monday, Dec. 17. The ex-ABC exec, who made history as the first Black leading network head, will begin her new role in February.

Channing Dungey

(Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Fortune)

Dungey, who will partner with and report to fellow Original Content VP Cindy Holland, will  draw up plans for Netflix’s original content, which includes series such as “House of Cards” “Orange Is the New Black” and “Stranger Things.” Dungey is set to manage a significant piece of the lineup. Some of them include the overall deals the company struck with the likes of Shonda Rhimes and Kenya Barris — both of whom left ABC Studios ahead of Dungey’s exit — along with Barack and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground Productions, through which the former first couple will produce original shows.

“I’m drawn to the forward-thinking, risk-taking and creative culture at Netflix, and the deeply talented people there, especially Ted [Sarandos, Netflix chief content officer], and Cindy, with whom I’m excited to partner on setting the strategy for original content,” Dungey said in a statement. “Given that ABC, the place I’ve called home for nearly 15 years, represents the gold standard of traditional broadcast, it feels like the perfect next step for me to join Netflix, the unparalleled leader in streaming. I’m invigorated by the challenges ahead and the opportunity to forge new relationships, and excited for the very welcome reunion with incredible talent.”

The TV executive and producer hopping on board the Netflix train is no surprise. Weeks of speculation had preceded the official announcement. Amid news that Dungey was leaving ABC and being replaced by Karey Burke, mumblings of her joining Netflix in a bigger role had emerged.

During Dungey’s time at ABC, she ran the drama department and oversaw shows like Rhimes’ “Scandal” and its fellow Shondaland series “How to Get Away with Murder.” Once she became the head of the network’s entertainment, she spearheaded shows like the hit “The Good Doctor.” Dungey is also behind ABC’s quick choice to cancel the rebooted “Roseanne” after the show’s namesake star, Roseanne Barrtweeted racist remarks about former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett.


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