BURBANK, CA (April 20, 2004) – As part of a broad restructuring of The Walt Disney Company’s television assets, Stephen McPherson, former president of Touchstone Television, has been named president, ABC Primetime Entertainment, it was announced today by Anne Sweeney, Co-Chair, Disney’s Media Networks Unit and President, Disney-ABC Television. In this capacity, McPherson will have oversight of all development, current programming, marketing and scheduling for the primetime division of the ABC Television Network. He will report to Sweeney.
In making the announcement, Sweeney said, “Steve has had an unparalleled track record of creative success over the past several years as head of Touchstone Television. His ability to identify and shepherd programming through all stages of development makes him uniquely qualified for this opportunity.”
As president of Touchstone Television, a role he assumed in June of 2001, McPherson oversaw a renaissance at the production company, with the past two development seasons (2002-03 and 2003-04) being the most successful in the 19-year history of the studio. During his tenure, he was responsible for all day-to-day operations of the studio, including the development and production of the division’s network primetime series, specials and films.
Current Touchstone comedy series include “8 Simple Rules,” “According to Jim,” “Hope & Faith,” “My Wife and Kids,” “It’s All Relative,” “Life with Bonnie,” “Less Than Perfect” and “Scrubs.” Touchstone-produced dramas include the critically-acclaimed “Alias,” “Line of Fire” and “Stephen King’s Kingdom Hospital.”
Touchstone also produces (with Bruckheimer Films and CBS Productions) the popular CBS reality show “The Amazing Race,” which was recently picked up for a fifth installment. Additionally, Touchstone developed USA Cable Network’s award-winning drama series, “Monk,” and the studio is also a producer on the late night talk show “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”
Over the past few seasons, McPherson has also supervised production of the critically-acclaimed series “Felicity,” “Once and Again,” “The Job,” “Sports Night,” “Gideon’s Crossing” and “Popular,” just to name a few.
Prior to joining Touchstone Television, McPherson was vice president, primetime series at NBC, where he oversaw the development and production of such shows as “Just Shoot Me,” “NewsRadio” and “The Pretender.”
Before joining NBC, McPherson was senior vice president, creative affairs of ABC Productions, where he supervised both comedy and drama series, including “My So Called Life” and “The Commish.” He also served as director, current programming for FOX, where he helped launch “Martin” and “The Ben Stiller Show.” He began his industry career as director of development for Witt-Thomas-Harris Productions.
McPherson is a graduate of Cornell University (1986), where he received a BA in Political Science.