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Christina Davis Exits As CBS Head Of Drama Development

Deadline logo Deadline 7/20/2017 Nellie Andreeva
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CBS veteran and long-time head of drama development Christina Davis is stepping down effective immediately. Davis, who had more time on her current contract, recently informed the network of her decision to depart. She is currently on maternity leave, following the arrival of twins last month. No successor has been set yet but, given the timing, with buying season for next season getting underway, that is expected soon.

Davis’ departure comes less than two months after the change at the top of CBS Entertainment, with Glenn Geller stepping down following a medical leave, succeeded by Thom Sherman, to whom Davis reported, and Kelly Kahl.

“Christina is a terrific CBS homegrown success story,” said Leslie Moonves, Chairman & CEO, CBS Corporation. “She rose through the ranks quickly and enthusiastically, making valuable contributions to our programming every step of the way. We’re grateful for her many years of leadership in drama, proud of her many accomplishments at the Network and wish her much success in her next chapter, especially with her growing family.”

Davis joined CBS in 1997 as an assistant to then-drama development head Nina Tassler, rising through the ranks to become SVP and co- head of the department in 2007 when Tassler was elevated to entertainment president. Davis was named EVP, Drama Development in 2009 when she became the solo drama chief at the network, a position she held for the past eight years. During her time in the department, she has helped develop such successful CBS series as the CSI and NCIS franchises, Bull, MacGyver, Blue Bloods, Hawaii Five-0, Madam Secretary, Scorpion, Criminal Minds, Elementary, and The Good Wife, among others.

In a statement, Davis reflected on her tenure at the broadcast network.

“My two decades at CBS have been the most rewarding of my life, and I can’t thank Leslie Moonves enough for his leadership and vision,” Davis said. “From my first day as a temporary assistant under Nina Tassler, CBS has given me the tremendous opportunity to work with the most talented and dedicated executives, writers, producers and directors in the entertainment industry. I am also eternally grateful to the drama development team who has been such a critical part of bringing so many amazing series to the network. I’m proud of what we accomplished together and it has been a joy to work with you each and every day. And now, with gratitude for what has gone before, I look forward to new challenges ahead of me, including my expanding family.”

There has been a lot of top executive turnover at the traditionally very stable CBS. In the past two years, there have been two entertainment president changes and new heads of all programming departments. Geller replaced chairman Tassler in fall 2015 before exiting this May. Longtime head of comedy Wendi Trilling was succeeded by Julie Pernworth, head of alternative Chris Castallo by Sharon Vuong and head of current Bridget Wiley byAmy Reisenbac.

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