Pearlena Igbokwe Becomes President of Universal Television


The former Executive Vice President of Drama Programming at NBC, Pearlena Igbokwe, has reportedly been named President of Universal Television, the NBC network’s studio partner. Igbokwe will replace former, Indian beauty queen, Bela Bajaria.

Igbokwe used to be Senior Executive Vice President of Programming at Showtime Networks, which she joined in 1994 after a short stint with HBO, according to her profile on last year’s ‘Scripted’ summit website to which she was an advisor and a 2012 article on Deadline Hollywood. She supervised and developed the pilot for ‘Dexter’, ‘Masters of Sex’, ‘Soul Food’ and shows like ‘Nurse Jackie’ and ‘The Big C’ among others, during her 20-year tenure at Showtime.



Indiwire’s Tambay O. Benson had hinted, that she was going to “oversee the development of all NBC dramas”, in a report on Indiwire, after it was announced that Igbokwe had been named as Executive Vice President of NBC Drama Programming in 2012.

However, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Igbokwe’s new role will see her move from NBC to Universal TV and report to Jennifer Salke, the President of NBC entertainment. THR quoted Salke who made very confident remarks about Pearlena Igbokwe “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.”


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Pearlena Igbokwe was born in Nigeria but moved to the United States with her parents at the age of 6. In America, Pearlena used American Television to learn English and speak like an American as she watched a great deal of American TV. She graduated from Yale University and went on to receive a MBA from Columbia University’s business school in 1990.


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