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Vivian Cannon Promoted to Head of Drama Development at Universal Television

Cannon replaces Erin Underhill, who was promoted to president last month

Universal Television has promoted Vivian Cannon to executive vice president of drama development, the studio announced Thursday.

Cannon fills the role vacated by Erin Underhill after her promotion to president last month.

“Anyone who’s had the pleasure of working with Vivian knows how sharp, passionate and tenacious she is,” Underhill wrote in a memo to staff announcing Cannon’s promotion. “She brings a wealth of talent relationships from her producing days, and a love for all forms of storytelling – especially podcasts! She is a strategic thinker, a creative packager, and a tireless champion for diverse voices. Vivian’s innate drive and leadership skills will help UTV continue to expand its drama reach in this competitive and ever-evolving TV landscape.”

Underhill was upped to president of UTV last month after Pearlena Igbokwe was put in charge of NBCUniversal’s entire TV studio operation as chairman of Universal Studio Group. The executive movement comes amid an ongoing shakeup of the company’s entertainment operations under CEO Jeff Shell and TV chief Mark Lazarus.

A veteran producer before joining Universal Television in 2017, Cannon previously served as senior vice president, overseeing drama projects for the studio including NBC’s “New Amsterdam” and the upcoming CBS reboot of “The Equalizer.” She previously produced pilots and series for HBO, Showtime, NBC, ABC, FX and others.

Read Underhill’s full memo below.

I am thrilled to announce that Vivian Cannon has been promoted to Executive Vice President, Drama Development, at Universal Television.

Anyone who’s had the pleasure of working with Vivian knows how sharp, passionate and tenacious she is. She brings a wealth of talent relationships from her producing days, and a love for all forms of storytelling – especially podcasts! She is a strategic thinker, a creative packager, and a tireless champion for diverse voices. Vivian’s innate drive and leadership skills will help UTV continue to expand its drama reach in this competitive and ever-evolving TV landscape.

In Vivian’s recent tenure as Senior Vice President in UTV’s drama department, she has been a driving force on projects including NBC’s hit series “New Amsterdam” (recently renewed for three seasons) and the upcoming CBS drama “The Equalizer” (premiering after the Super Bowl). Earlier, as a TV producer, she produced pilots and series for HBO, Showtime, NBC, ABC and FX, among others. She was executive producer on the AMC drama “Preacher” and developed and produced the pilot. She also executive-produced Showtime’s “The Big C,” which won an AFI Award and was Golden Globe nominated.

Please join me in congratulating Vivian on this much-deserved promotion!

Erin