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Netflix Keeps Betting On Black With Dungey Hire

With the addition of Channing Dungey, Netflix almost makes a good case of being invited to the venerable picnic.

Netflix continues to play chess in creating a growing monolith of high-quality content created by, starring and targeting individuals from across the rainbow of the African diaspora.

In placing former ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey in position as VP of originals, who’ll work parallel to current VP Cindy Holland, Netflix is putting a lot of chips on black.

“I’m drawn to the forward-thinking, risk-taking and creative culture at Netflix, and the deeply talented people there, especially Ted and Cindy, with whom I’m excited to partner on setting the strategy for original content,” Dungey said Monday 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.”

Dungey will officially partner with Holland to oversee this very crucial stage of their upcoming slate and will be in charge of half of Holland’s existing programming slate; which includes Orange is the New Black, Narcos and the Crown. She will be reunited with Barris and Rhimes, with whom she had great success in developing Scandal and Black-ish on ABC.

She reportedly chose to step down as ABC Entertainment president in November despite incoming Disney TV Studios chairman Dana Walden, a former rival while at Fox Broadcasting Co., wanting her to stay on.

After leaving ABC, it was speculated that Dungey may join Shondaland or Higher Ground, but her new role gives her oversight of both and then some.

Shonda Rhimes, who once dominated over at ABC, Kenya Barris, also an ABC mutineer, and the venerable Obama fam’s Higher Ground Productions, not to mention the myriad of titles from Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY distribution company, and the historic empowering of black creatives seems to be accelerating at a rapid pace.

Additionally, Netflix commissioned its first Nigerian film, Lionheart, in September and will continue keeping an eye out for other offerings. Meanwhile, ARRAY Now‘s VAYA by Nigerian director Akin Omotoso debuted in October.

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