Former Netflix Exec Tara Duncan Named President of Freeform

Elaine Low

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Following the news last month that Tom Ascheim would depart as head of Freeform to lead Warner Bros.’ kids and young adults division, the young adult cabler has named Tara Duncan as its new president. She will step into the role on June 8, overseeing strategic planning, brand development, content strategy, original programming, production, scheduling, finance, research, marketing and communications.

Duncan most recently had an overall deal at Hulu, where she was developing an adaptation of the Zakiya Dalila Harris novel, “The Other Black Girl.” Prior to that, she was a senior creative executive at Netflix until 2018, overseeing “Orange Is the New Black” and “Narcos.” She also produced the “Bosch” pilot for Amazon Studios and previously served as a creative exec at AMC. Duncan first got her start at George Clooney and Steven Soderberg’s production company, Section Eight.

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“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 Disney Television Studios and ABC Entertainment chairman Dana Walden, to whom Duncan will report.

“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,” she continued. “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.”

Duncan is also a founding member of Who’s in the Room, a Time’s Up executive mentorship program that aims to improve executive and producer representation in the entertainment industry.

“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.”

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