ABC NEWS STUDIOS ANNOUNCES NEW PRODUCTION UNIT LED BY ROBIN ROBERTS
A Dedicated Team Within ABC News Studios Will Produce Originals To Premiere on the ABC Television Network, Hulu and Disney+
The Unit’s Inaugural Project Is a Special Edition of ’20/20′ Airing During ABC Primetime Featuring an Exclusive Interview With Kerry Washington on Her New Memoir
ABC News Studios announced a new production unit led by ABC News’ “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts that will produce a wide range of original, narrative nonfiction projects, including specials, nonfiction series and documentaries for ABC Network, Hulu and Disney+.
The production unit is actively commissioning and developing projects across multiple genres and formats that are a natural extension of Roberts’ background covering pop culture, newsmakers and world events over her 20+ year career. Its creation establishes a dedicated team within ABC News Studios committed to those stories. This new unit expands Roberts’ current production portfolio, which includes Rock’n Robin Productions ― the full-service, Emmy(R) Award-winning production company that launched in 2014.
“I’m thrilled to now have a home within ABC News Studios to produce projects I really care about,” said Roberts. “This production team will be focused on heartfelt storytelling that reveals the mosaic of humanity.”
“Robin Roberts’ career is a masterclass in powerful storytelling that, over the years, has left an indelible mark on ABC News and people around the world,” said ABC News President Kim Godwin. “This dedicated ABC News Studios production unit will make it possible for Robin to seamlessly produce more premium, original content about extraordinary people and places like only Robin can.”
“Robin’s unique brand of storytelling infuses heart and soul into everything she does,” said Mike Kelley, vice president and head of ABC News Studios. “I couldn’t be more excited about the projects this unit will produce, which I know will enrich the lives of our viewers.”
For the unit’s inaugural project, Roberts sat down with actor, director and producer Kerry Washington for a network exclusive interview ahead of the release of her upcoming memoir, “Thicker Than Water.” In the wide-ranging interview, Washington opens up about intimate details of her life for the first time, including her childhood, acting career and activism, and a family secret that turned her world upside down. She also talks about the mental health challenges she’s faced when it comes to body image, childhood traumas, and depression.
The one-hour primetime special edition of “20/20,” “Kerry Washington: Thicker Than Water – A Conversation with Robin Roberts,” airs Sunday, Sept. 24, at 10:00 p.m. EDT/9:00 p.m. CDT on ABC, next day on Hulu.
Jonathan Blakely will serve as executive producer of the unit, reporting to the head of ABC News Studios, Mike Kelley. Previously, Blakely launched and executive produced “60 Minutes+” for CBS News. In his decade-plus career there, he held a number of senior management and production roles with stints at “60 Minutes,” “CBS This Morning,” “CBS Evening News” and CBSN. Katie Conway will be senior producer for the unit overseeing development and production from Los Angeles. Conway is a seven-time Emmy Award winner who previously served as a supervising producer at ABC News’ “Good Morning America,” leading booking and editorial efforts on a wide range of topics. Producer Danielle Genet and production coordinator Kayla Simmons will also join the unit.
The special edition of “20/20,” “Kerry Washington: Thicker Than Water – A Conversation with Robin Roberts,” is a production of ABC’s “20/20” and ABC News Studios. “20/20″‘s executive producer Janice Johnston and ABC News Studios’ Blakely are executive producers.
About Robin Roberts
Robin Roberts is co-anchor of ABC’s “Good Morning America” and President of Rock’n Robin Productions. Under her leadership, “Good Morning America” has won numerous Emmy Awards for Outstanding Morning Program and the 2017 People’s Choice Award for Favorite Daytime TV Hosting Team. In 2014, Roberts launched Rock’n Robin Productions, an independent production company creating original broadcast and digital programming. Roberts began contributing to “Good Morning America” in 1995 and was named co-anchor in May 2005. Prior to that, Roberts was a host of ESPN’s “SportsCenter” and contributed to “NFL PrimeTime.”
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