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Tracey Pakosta Heads to Netflix as Head of Comedy, Leaving NBC

Tracey Pakosta (Courtesy of Chris Haston/NBC)

After nearly a decade at NBCUniversal, NBC’s co-president of scripted programming Tracey Pakosta is leaving the company to join Netfix as its head of comedy.

The longtime TV exec will oversee development and current programming at the streaming giant, including adult animation and live-action family comedies, as well as stand-up and comedy formats.

“I’ve spent many hours watching as a fan, and now I am incredibly excited to join Bela and the Netflix original series team,” said Pakosta. “Comedy is my favorite playground, and I can’t wait to partner with all of the like-minded creators to make people laugh – we really need it!”

Pakosta has worked at NBCUniversal since 2011, after joining the company as executive vice president of comedy development for Universal Television, where she developed and launched comedy series such as “The Good Place,” “Superstore,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” and others. She was tapped to head comedy at NBC five years ago before being named co-president of scripted programming alongside Lisa Katz in 2018 after Jennifer Salke departed NBC to head Amazon Studios. Prior to her time at Universal TV, Pakosta also spent time at Craig Ferguson’s production company for CBS Television Studios, Green Mountain West, as well as more than a decade at the WB.

Pakosta will be reunited with former colleague and ex-Universal Television head Bela Bajaria, who joined Netflix in 2016 and was this year promoted to head of global TV.

“Tracey is a seasoned and talented creative executive with a true passion for comedy, a sharp wit and a great sensibility for what makes audiences laugh,” said Bajaria. “She and I have known each other for many years and I’m thrilled to have her join our original series team at Netflix as Head of Comedy.”

The appointment comes not long after Netflix reshuffled its leadership, a reorganization that included the exit of longtime TV exec Cindy Holland and Bajaria’s elevation to her current role. Channing Dungey has since left Netflix to become president of Warner Bros. Television group, starting in 2021.

Variety's Elaine Low contributed to this post.

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