Jonnie Davis has been named president of ABC Studios, replacing Patrick Moran, while Carolyn Cassidy has been promoted to president, creative affairs at 20th Century Fox Television. Cassidy will oversee the studio in partnership with Howard Kurtzman, who remains president of business operations. All three will report to Craig Hunegs, president of Disney Television Studios, who made the announcement Wednesday.
Josh Sussman has been promoted to executive vice president, business affairs, at ABC Studios, reporting to Davis.
“This exceptional group is uniquely qualified to continue building our position as the strongest studios in the industry and the very best home for talent,” said Hunegs in a statement.
“Jonnie is a great leader with infectious energy and optimism, as well as an incredible partner to our creators. The award-winning quality, diversity and sheer number of series he developed and oversaw at 20th, along with the relationships he has with writers, producers, directors and actors, are second to none. Together with Josh, a gifted business affairs strategist, Jonnie is poised to take ABC Studios to even greater levels of success.”
Regarding Cassidy, Hunegs said: “Carolyn is an absolute star creative executive with extraordinary leadership skills, a deep understanding of the studio and great relationships with our creators and entire company. We are thrilled that Howard will continue alongside her, as together they make a formidable team.”
Bert Salke remains president of Fox 21 Television Studios with Vibiana Molina overseeing business affairs at that shop.
As part of the restructuring, Moran and Howard Davine will step down from ABC Studios.
Davis joined 20th Century Fox Television in January 2008 as senior vice president, comedy development, and soon rose to executive vice president of comedy. Later, he held the role of executive vice president, comedy and animation development, before being named president of creative affairs, alongside Kurtzman.
Davis helped develop NBC’s This Is Us and ABC’s Modern Family and Fresh Off the Boat as well as Fox’s New Girl, Last Man on Earth and Last Man Standing. He also oversaw the studio’s recent expansion into animation development.
Prior to joining TCFTV, Davis served as vice president, comedy development at Fox, having begun his career at Fox working for Mike Darnell in alternative series.
Carolyn Cassidy most recently served as executive vice president, current series for 20th Century Fox Television. She has run the studio’s current series department since July 2015, overseeing a team of executives responsible for managing the studio’s slate of live-action television series for platforms such as FBC, ABC, NBC, FX, Hulu, Disney+ and Netflix.
Cassidy first joined 20th Century Fox TV in August 2009 as vice president, comedy series. In that role, she helped to develop New Girl, Fresh Off the Boat and Last Man Standing. Cassidy started her career as a current executive at NBC where she worked on series such as Will & Grace, The Office, Las Vegas and Ed. She also served as a comedy development executive at ABC Studios. She is a graduate of Harvard University.
Josh Sussman has served as senior vice president, business affairs at 20th Century Fox Television since 2016. Prior to joining the studio, he was executive vice president, business affairs, and general counsel at Electus, where he oversaw business and legal affairs for Electus’ scripted and unscripted business, Electus International, Electus Content Marketing and Electus Digital.
Before joining Electus, Sussman was vice president, general counsel of programming at IAC/InterActiveCorp, overseeing business and legal affairs for IAC’s programming businesses – including Notional, a television production company, CollegeHumor Media and The Daily Beast, among others – and helping IAC senior management oversee operations of those businesses.
He began his career as an associate at the law firm of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP. Sussman graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan and received a Juris Doctor from Fordham University School of Law.
[Images of Jonnie Davis, Carolyn Cassidy courtesy of 20th Century Fox]