Disney Television Studios has formed a new division solely dedicated to acquiring and packaging intellectual property for development for ABC Signature and 20th Television.
The creative acquisitions department, as it will be known, is set to be led by Elizabeth Newman and Jordan Moblo, and will focus on identifying and securing rights to forthcoming and current bestselling books, podcasts, news stories and other properties. The execs will connect creators and rights holders with both studios’ bench of showrunners, writers, directors and talent to develop series for Disney’s ABC, Hulu, Freeform, FX, Disney Plus, NatGeo and other platforms.
“Now more than ever, securing compelling I.P. which captures the imagination of showrunners and consumers alike can be the start of a hit television series,” said Walt Disney Television president of entertainment Craig Hunegs. “Elizabeth and Jordan are talented executives with impeccable creative taste and deep relationships with agents, publishers, authors and producers. Together, they will strategically serve up source material to our studios and platforms which will redound to the benefit of all of Walt Disney Television.”
Newman, who has been tapped to be vice president of creative acquisitions, is a 14-year CAA vet who was most recently vice president of development at Touchstone Television — now a part of 20th TV — where she identified talent and literary material and developed scripted series. Working with creators such as Gina Prince-Bythewood and Reggie Bythewood, Danny Strong, Tom McCarthy, Marta Kauffman, Sarah Treem, Jenni Konner, and The Gotham Group.
Moblo, who will serve as director of creative acquisitions, previously worked at 20th Television, securing rights to and developing fiction, nonfiction, podcasts, theatre, journalism, foreign formats and life rights for series adaptation. He has worked closely with creators such as Issac Aptaker & Elizabeth Berger, Dan Fogelman, Liz Meriwether, Anthony Hemingway, The Littlefield Company and others.
“We believe in the power of storytelling to change the world and hope to champion material that is as culturally impactful and timeless as it is entertaining,” said Newman and Moblo in a joint statement. “We’re excited to advocate for distinctive source material and create opportunities for the studios’ talent to bring these stories to the screen.”