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Pearlena Igbokwe Named Head of Universal Television

Pearlena Igbokwe named head of Universal Television Photo Credit: NBCUniversal Pearlena Igbokwe named head of Universal Television

Pearlena Igbokwe's promotion to head of Universal Television makes her the first African-American to head a traditional TV studio

Television executive Pearlena Igbokwe is moving on up!

On Friday, NBC Entertainment announced that Ms. Igbokwe is now head of Universal Television.

"Pearlena's remarkable track record in drama programming at NBC over the last few years made it clear that she was the ideal choice to lead the studio into its next phase of growth," said Jennifer Salke, president of NBC Entertainment. "Her leadership, vision and taste have resulted in an impressive string of drama successes – from The Blacklist, Blindspot, Chicago Med, Shades of Blue and the upcoming series This Is Us, Timeless, and Taken—that coincides with our return to a top position among networks."

Igbokwe has a long track record in television and entertainment. She came to NBC Entertainment four years ago as executive vice president of drama development at the urging of NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt. The pair had worked together at Showtime.

Igbokwe spent 20 years at Showtime Networks, beginning with television movies and then moving into drama development, where she worked on hit series such as Dexter and Nurse Jackie.

Igbokwe replaces Bela Bajaria, who abruptly left her post this week after five years on the job.

Igbokwe is a graduate of Yale and Columbia Business School.

In February, Channing Dungey became the first African American TV network president when ABC named Dungey entertainment president of ABC.

With Igbokwe's promotion to head of Universal Television, she is believed to be the first African-American president of a traditional TV studio.