Freeform tapped producer Tara Duncan as its new president.
Duncan comes to Freeform from Hulu, where she was under an overall deal. She begins June 8 and will replace Tom Ascheim, who is leaving for a gig with Warner Bros. Duncan will have oversight of strategic planning, brand development, content strategy, original programming, production, scheduling, finance, research, marketing and communications.
She’ll report directly to Dana Walden, chairman, Disney Television Studios and ABC Entertainment.
“Tara is an exceptionally skilled executive and a seasoned producer who is bringing a wealth of experience, across linear channels and streaming platforms, to her new role,” said Walden. “Her background, great taste and reputation make her the perfect choice to lead Freeform and its original programming that entertains viewers across its linear channel and distribution on Hulu. Tara and I met for the first time a little over a year ago, and I was truly taken with her vision and understanding of the creative process. Getting her inside of Walt Disney Television has been a priority and I am thrilled she will be leading the formidable Freeform team.”
At Hulu, Duncan was developing an adaptation of Zakiya Dalila Harris’ novel, “The Other Black Girl.” Before her Hulu deal, she was a creative executive with Netflix where she oversaw series including “Orange Is the New Black” and “Narcos” and helped to launch “She’s Gotta Have It,” “The Get Down,” “Sens8” and “Dear White People.” Completing her trifecta of streaming services, Duncan produced the pilot for Amazon Prime’s “Bosch,” its first scripted drama series.
Duncan is a founding member of Who’s In The Room, an executive mentorship program created to help diversify the executive and producer ranks in the industry. She started her career at Section Eight, George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh’s production company.
“The programming on Freeform makes me think, laugh and feel good at a time when being optimistic matters most,” said Duncan. “It is incredibly exciting to join the Freeform team and continue forging a path for fun, daring storytelling. I am especially grateful for Dana Walden’s leadership and Craig Erwich’s guidance, as well as Bea Springborn and a host of mentors and friends who have nurtured me to this next chapter in my career.”