Producer and former Netflix executive, Tara Duncan, has joined Freeform as its new president. Duncan replaces Tom Ascheim as the Walt Disney Television-owned cable network’s new chief.
“Tara is an exceptionally skilled executive and a seasoned producer who is bringing a wealth of experience, across linear channels and streaming platforms, to her new role,” Disney TV Studios and ABC Entertainment chairman Dana Walden said in a statement.
“Her background, great taste, and reputation make her the perfect choice to lead Freeform and its original programming that entertains viewers across its linear channel and distribution on Hulu,” Walden added.
Walden was truly taken with Duncan’s vision and understanding of the creative process the very first time they met. For him getting her to join the Freeform team has been “a priority” he is thrilled about.
A founding member of Who’s In The Room, an executive mentorship program created to help diversify the executive and producer ranks in the industry, Duncan will oversee strategic planning, brand development, original programming, communications, and many other portfolios at Freeform, The Wrap reports.
“The programming on Freeform makes me think, laugh and feel good at a time when being optimistic matters most,” Duncan, who started her career at Section Eight – George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh’s production company – said.
“It is incredibly exciting to join the Freeform team and continue forging a path for fun, daring storytelling. I am especially grateful for Dana Walden’s leadership and Craig Erwich’s guidance, as well as Bea Springborn and a host of mentors and friends who have nurtured me to this next chapter in my career.”
Duncan, who launched tetraVision, a film and television production company, earlier this year struck an overall deal with Hulu, setting an adaptation of Zakiya Dalila Harris’ novel The Other Black Girl at the streamer, the Deadline reported.
According to the outlet, “The Other Black Girl centers on Nella, an African-American editorial assistant working her way up at an established, starkly white NYC publishing firm. When the new girl, Hazel arrives, Nella couldn’t be more excited to have a black co-worker, but over time Nella’s world is turned upside as she goes from office darling to public enemy number one. Is Hazel a friend or foe? The novel is a darkly comedic take on workplace politics and the importance of female friendship.”
During her time at Netflix, she worked with filmmakers including Spike Lee, Baz Luhrmann, The Wachowskis, and Justin Simien. She also produced the pilot for Amazon’s Bosch and worked at AMC, where she developed The Killing, Rubicon, and the sci-fi miniseries The Prisoner.
Freeform connects to audiences with bold original programming and immersive social engagement that moves the cultural conversation a little forward. As Walt Disney Television’s young adult television network, Freeform channels the force and momentum of its audience in its quest for progress with authentic, groundbreaking original series, the company said in a statement.