Tara Duncan has been named president of Disney’s young adult network Freeform, said Dana Walden, chairman, Disney Television Studios and ABC Entertainment, on Thursday.
In her new role, Duncan will oversee all functions at the network including strategic planning, brand development, content strategy, original programming, production, scheduling, finance, research, marketing and communications. She starts June 8.
“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,” said Walden 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. Tara and I met for the first time a little over a year ago, and I was truly taken with her vision and understanding of the creative process. Getting her inside of Walt Disney Television has been a priority and I am thrilled she will be leading the formidable Freeform team.”
“The programming on Freeform makes me think, laugh and feel good at a time when being optimistic matters most,” said Duncan, also in a statement. “It is incredibly exciting to join the Freeform team and continue forging a path for fun, daring storytelling.”
Duncan replaces Tom Ascheim, who departed Freeform in early April to join WarnerMedia as president of global kids, young adults and classics.
She joins the network from her overall deal at Hulu, where she has curated a strong slate of projects. Before joining Hulu, Duncan was a senior creative executive at Netflix overseeing the hit series Orange Is the New Black and Narcos, and launching series with directors Spike Lee, Baz Luhrmann, The Wachowskis and Justin Simien. Prior to that, she produced the pilot for Amazon’s Bosch and was a key creative executive at AMC.
Duncan also is 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. She started her career at Section Eight, George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh’s production company.