File this one under “Black women Kicking Arse and Taking Names.” Veteran program executive Pearlena Igbokwe has been named Executive Vice President, Drama Development for NBC Entertainment–a position that will allow her to oversee the development of all NBC dramas.
Shadow and Act revealed the NBC press release:
Igbokwe comes to NBC from Showtime, where she worked closely with Robert Greenblatt, Chairman of NBC Entertainment, for seven years.
“Pearlena is hands-down one of the best creative executives I’ve ever worked with and I’m thrilled she is coming to NBC,” said Greenblatt. “She will be instrumental in reinvigorating our drama slate and making the network a haven for the top creative people in our business.”
During her 20-year tenure at Showtime, Igbokwe was involved in developing the pilot and overseeing every season of “Dexter,” Showtime’s most popular hit ever. She also developed the pilot to the upcoming new Showtime series “Masters of Sex” starring Michael Sheen. She also supervised the Emmy Award-winning and critically-acclaimed original series “Nurse Jackie” and “The Big C,” as well as shepherded “Tracey Ullman’s State of the Union,” “Damon Wayans’ Underground,” Kirstie Alley’s “Fat Actress,” and the television adaptation of the hit feature film “Barbershop.” She was additionally instrumental in the five-season run of the hit Showtime series “Soul Food,” a two-time NAACP Image Award winner for Best Drama Series.
Igbokwe also has mined success from a number of original movies she developed for Showtime, including the Humanitas Award-nominated “Jasper, Texas,” starring Academy Award winners Jon Voight and Louis Gossett Jr.; the Emmy Award-nominated “Bojangles,” starring the late Gregory Hines; and the Peabody Award-winning “Strange Justice,” to name just a few.
She began her career at Showtime as Manager of Direct Response, Television Marketing, where she was responsible for all media planning and spending, agency creative development, video production and telemarketing for a $13 million general and Hispanic market acquisition campaign.
Igbokwe most recently was featured in industry trade magazine Multichannel News’ 2010 “Wonder Women” issue and previously in Hollywood Reporter’s “Top 35 under 35,” as well as in Ebony and Black Enterprise’s “Top 50 Showbiz Players.”
Clearly Ms. Igbokwe is a woman with experience who knows her stuff. I’m looking forward to seeing what she does in her new position at the network, not that I expect much to change, as NBC is already a quality network. I’m sure Ms. Pearlena Igbokwe will ensure that the drama programming over at NBC maintains the already high-quality (and diversity) of the other shows and movies she has worked on, such as the Showtime series “Soul Food.”