Netflix hires ABC Studios veteran Lisa Lang McMullen for drama development

Netflix has appointed veteran ABC Studios/ABC Signature exec Lisa Lang McMullen as director of drama development.

Lang McMullen will bring 20 years of drama and comedy experience to the Jinny Howe-led team, following 12 years at the Disney-owned studio, where she started out as a member of the comedy unit in 2009, working on shows such as The Neighbors and Galavant for ABC.

She was later appointed as VP Creative for then-ABC Studios’ streaming-focused division ABC Signature in December 2017, where she helped to develop shows such as Godfather Of Harlem for Epix, Little Fires Everywhere for Hulu and The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers for Disney+.

Last year, Lang McMullen joined the drama team and has worked on shows including Five Days At Memorial for Apple TV+, The Devil In The White City for Hulu and the recently announced Beauty And The Beast prequel for Disney+.

Prior to ABC Studios, Lang McMullen began her career at Universal Television in 2001, working on shows such as Just Shoot Me! and the US remake of The Office, before joining Warner Bros. Television as a VP in 2003, where she spent six years and worked on shows including Two And A Half Men and The Big Bang Theory.

Lang McMullen’s arrival at Netflix comes shortly after the streamer announced its Q2 results, which revealed the company had lost 430,000 subscribers in North America over the period, while enjoying steady growth in other parts of the world.

Omdia analyst Tony Gunnarsson last week told TBI that now Netflix has “finally reached a ceiling at home” the streamer will likely seek to reduce churn by continuing to invest heavily in content.

Lang McMullen’s appointment would definitely place her at the heart of such a strategy, with recent drama orders from the streamer including the six-part anthology Blackout from the Obama’s Higher Ground and Temple Hill, and The Craving, a new thriller drama series from Escape Room director Adam Robitel and Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Room writer Gavin Heffernan.

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