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Disney Exec Peter Rice Exiting, Dana Walden to Replace

Peter Rice is exiting as the chairman of Disney General Entertainment Content (DGE) which creates original entertainment and news programming for The Walt Disney Company’s streaming platforms Disney+, Hulu, and Star, and its cable and broadcast networks.

According to Deadline, Replacing Rice will be Dana Walden is chairman of Entertainment for Walt Disney Television, overseeing the Disney Television Studios (20th Television, ABC Signature, 20th Television Animation, and Walt Disney Television Alternative), the original entertainment slates, and content marketing for broadcast network ABC, basic cable channel Freeform, and the Hulu Originals and Onyx Collective brands of programming for streaming platform Hulu.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Sources say embattled Disney CEO Bob Chapek summoned Rice to his office Monday and relieved the former Fox exec of his duties. Rice’s top lieutenant, Dana Walden — who also made the move from Fox to Disney — will be taking over his responsibilities. Sources say Rice had multiple years left on his contract and will receive a rich payout.

Rice joined The Walt Disney Company during the acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s television and film assets in 2019. He previously served as president of 21st Century Fox, and chairman and CEO of Fox Networks Group. Under his leadership, the group’s award-winning hits included TV series 9-1-1,  American Horror Story, Bob’s Burgers, Empire, Modern Family and This Is Us. During Rice’s tenure as president of Fox Searchlight Pictures, the studio produced Slumdog Millionaire, Juno, Little Miss Sunshine, The Last King of Scotland, Napoleon Dynamite” and Sideways. As executive vice president of Production for Twentieth Century Fox, he worked on Oscar-nominated films Moulin Rouge and William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, and also served as the supervising creative executive on X-Men.

As for Walden, She is responsible for some of the biggest scripted and unscripted hits on television and streaming and is recognized for being a loyal creative partner for some of the most prolific creators in the business. Throughout her career, she has established early relationships with some of today’s most renowned showrunners including Lee Daniels, Ryan Murphy, Liz Meriwether, and David E. Kelley, who all remain her collaborators at Walt Disney Television today.

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