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Alfano to Broadway Video

Jun 9, 2003  •  Post A Comment

The long-awaited switch for NBC comedy development senior VP JoAnn Alfano is a reality; she has been named president of Lorne Michaels’ Broadway Video Television.
In her new role at the “Saturday Night Live” creator’s production company, which has a new development deal with NBC, Ms. Alfano will focus on developing prime-time projects for the network. Among her early priorities will be “The Tracy Morgan Show,” which was developed for the fall lineup but is being tweaked and buffed for a midseason debut.
Ms. Alfano’s new assignment is effective immediately. The timing is believed to be related at least in part to a likely broader restructuring of NBC Entertainment units to accommodate the expected hiring of FX Entertainment President Kevin Reilly in a role that could position him as successor to the entertainment throne when Entertainment President Jeff Zucker returns to New York.
“This was an opportunity I just couldn’t resist. I’m joining someone who in comedy is a legend,” said Ms. Alfano, while packing her office Thursday for the move across the street to NBC Studios. “Lorne is a talent magnet.”
The immediacy of Ms. Alfano’s move is good news to Broadway Video Chairman Lorne Michaels. He confessed to having occasionally felt “on some level we were a stepchild,” and he has a renewed optimism about being able to capitalize on the cast, writers and producers assembled by “SNL.”
Ms. Alfano rose from director of media relations for prime-time series to director of current comedy shows in the early 1990s and in 1994 became VP of prime-time series for NBC Studios. She was named senior VP of drama development for the network in May 1999 and was given oversight of all prime-time comedy series development for the network in June 2000.