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NBC pair to replace Amazon-bound Salke

US broadcaster NBC has promoted a pair of in-house execs to replace president of entertainment Jennifer Salke, who is soon to join Amazon Studios.

Lisa Katz and Tracey Pakosta have been named co-presidents of scripted programming at NBC Entertainment.

They’re being upped after the well-respected Salke, who ushered in series such as This is Us to NBC, was poached to become head of Amazon Studios to replace Roy Price. He left last year after allegations over his behaviour surfaced.

The pair take up their new post at a good time for NBC, which has can thank melodrama This Is Us, the Super Bowl and the Winter Olympics for its current number one position in US primetime viewers.

The 2017/18 season to date result is the first time since 2001/02 NBC has edged ahead of CBS, which has gobbled up older audiences through dramas such as NCIS and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation throughout the 21st Century.

Katz has been with NBC since July 2016, when she joined as executive VP of drama from Twentieth Century Fox Television.

At NBC, she has overseen buying and development of all one-hour projects, pilots and first seasons, and has been intrinsic to upcoming series The Brave and Rise.

Pakosta has been at NBCUniversal, NBC’s parent since 2011, when she was recruited as EVP of Universal Television.

At the prodco, she went on to develop comedies such as The Good Place, Superstore, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and rose to EVP of comedy for NBC Entertainment, where she’s developed upcoming series such as A.P. Bio and Champions.

“Lisa and Tracey have impeccable taste, strong leadership and a deep understanding of the NBC brand,” said NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt, adding: “Their relationships with top showrunners and talent are second to none, and I have no doubt their combined experience and expertise will build on the incredible momentum the network has right now.”

Katz began her career at The Sopranos producer Brillstein-Grey, while Pakosta has also worked at CBS Television Studios-based Green Mountain West and was EVP of comedy development at The CW predecessor The WB.