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6 Facts About Nigeria’s Pearlena, First Woman of African Descent to Head a Major American TV Studio

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 07: Pearlena Igbokwe, President, Universal TV speaks on a panel during ESSENCE House: Hollywood Edition at NeueHouse Los Angeles on February 07, 2020 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images for ESSENCE)

Pearlena Igbokwe, a Nigerian-born media executive, has been appointed to Chairman of Universal Studio Group. As the new chairman, she replaces Bonnie Hammer, who will take a new role as Vice Chairman, as announced by NBCUniversal.

This makes Pearlena the first woman of African descent to head a major American television studio.

Universal Studio Group is a division of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production and marketing of entertainment, news and information for a global audience.

According to a statement by Universal Studio Group, she will lead the company’s growing global television studio businesses and report directly to Jeff Shell, CEO, NBCUniversal.

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Here are six facts about Pearlena Igbokwe:

  • She was the president of Universal Television, where she oversaw all aspects of the studio business and achieved record volume for the legacy studio. Some of the programmes under her purview include the critically acclaimed comedies “Russian Doll,” “The Good Place,” “Superstore,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” and “Little America,” popular dramas “Good Girls” and “New Amsterdam,” and Dick Wolf’s new “FBI” and “FBI: Most Wanted,” among many others.
  • She served as Executive Vice President, Drama Programming, for NBC Entertainment, where she developed the top-rated new broadcast dramas.
  • Before joining NBCUniversal, she worked at Showtime for 20 years and was involved in developing a variety of hit series including “Dexter” and “Nurse Jackie.”
  • She currently serves as the Vice President of the Hollywood Radio and TV Society (HRTS) board and is a member of the Television Academy Executive Committee.
  • She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University and an MBA from Columbia University.
  • Pearlena was born in Nigeria. She is married and has two children. She currently resides in Los Angeles, California.
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Written by PH

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