EXCLUSIVE: Channing Dungey has stepped down as VP Original Content and head of drama at Netflix after 20 months at the company to pursue another opportunity. Her last day is today.
While that opportunity has not been revealed, Dungey, the former ABC Entertainment president, is among the handful of top female TV executives rumored to succeed Susan Rovner as president of Warner BrosTV.
Dungey’s departure follows the exit last month of Netflix’s head of content Cindy Holland when Bela Bajaria was upped to Global Head of TV. Dungey, who used to report to Holland, moved to reporting to Bajaria.
The ripple effect from the major shakeup is still felt within the company, with other Netflix executive departures considered likely, I hear.
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“I’ve known Channing for many years, and it’s been a pleasure working closer with her. She’s a terrific executive who’s always carved her own path, and although we will miss her, we wish her all the best for the future,” said Bajaria, VP, Global TV, Netflix.
At Netflix, Dungey oversaw a large portion of the streamer’s slate, including drama series, and high-profile overall deals with such top writer-producers as Shonda Rhimes, Jenji Kohan, Kenya Barris, Steven DeKnight, Marti Noxon, as well as Barack and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground Productions.
The names of potential candidates for the top WBTV programming job that have been circulating for the past couple of weeks include Dungey; UCP President Dawn Olmstead; and Amy Israel, EVP, Scripted Programming, Showtime Networks.
Dungey became the first black executive to run one of the Big Four networks’ entertainment divisions when she was named ABC Entertainment president in February 2016. She added such new series as The Good Doctor and shepherded the return of American Idol during her tenure. She also was credited as being a driving force behind the network’s swift decision to cancel its top series, Roseanne, following star Roseanne Barr’s racist tweet. ABC was the most social network on air under her leadership.
Prior to that, Dungey ran ABC’s drama development, overseeing the development of such shows as Shondaland’s Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder, and Once Upon a Time.
Dungey joined the network’s drama development department in June 2009. Prior to that, she oversaw drama programming for ABC Studios, where her slate included Shondaland’s Private Practice for ABC, and CBS’s long-running drama Criminal Minds, among others.
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 TV 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, helping to develop and supervise a diverse range of commercially successful, critically acclaimed films.