Get It Girl: Pearlena Igbokwe Named President Of Universal Television
Earlier this year, when I wrote about Channing Dungey being named the president of ABC, I closed the article by writing, “May many more follow her.” Well, from my fingertips to God’s ears because according to Shadow and Act, Pearlena Igbokwe was recently named the President of Universal Television.
President of NBC, Jennifer Salke, who oversees the studio made the announcement saying,
“Pearlena’s remarkable track record in drama programming at NBC over the last few years made it clear that she was the ideal choice to lead the studio into its next phase of growth,” said Salke. “Her leadership, vision and taste have resulted in an impressive string of drama successes – from “The Blacklist,” “Blindspot,” “Chicago Med,” “Shades of Blue” and the upcoming series “This Is Us,” “Timeless” and “Taken” – that coincides with our return to a top position among networks. Pearlena also comes to the job with a wealth of experience in television movies and comedy and we have no doubt she will lead our prolific studio forward in a dynamic way.”
Igbokwe began working at NBC Entertainment in 2012, as Executive Vice President, Drama Development, after spending two decades in programming at Showtime Networks. There she was responsible for bringing hit series like “Dexter” and “Nurse Jackie” to the air. According to NBC, she was also instrumental in the five-season run of “Soul Food,” the tv movie Bojangles, starring the late Gregory Hines, and the 1999 tv movie Strange Justice, about the actions that led to Clarence Thomas’ Supreme Court nomination. The film would go on to win the Peabody award.
In the past four years at NBC, Igbokwe brought exceptional dramas to the network, often winning the 10 p.m. time slot and has made NBC more competitive during the 8 and 9 p.m. hours.
As one of the largest television producers in the world, Universal Television is responsible for shows like “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” “The Mindy Project,” “Master of None” and many others, including NBC’s late night programs like “Saturday Night Live” and “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”
Igbokwe’s promotion comes after the abrupt departure of former head Bela Bajaria last week, after five years in that position.
Congratulations to Igbokwe! And in the name of superstition, may many more follow her as well.