Veteran program executive Pearlena Igbokwe has been named Executive Vice President, Drama Development for NBC Entertainment, it was announced today by Jennifer Salke, President of NBC Entertainment, to whom Igbokwe will report. She is replacing Laura Lancaster who will segue into a consultancy role to help with the transition through drama development season.
In her new role Igbokwe will oversee the development of all NBC dramas.
“Pearlena has forged an impressive track record over her successful career that has earned her the admiration of the creative community,” said Salke. “She will bring a unique perspective to development that will help us reach our goal of once again making NBC the home of some of the best and most respected dramas on television.”
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.”