August 31, 2023
Craig Erwich is president of Disney Television Group inclusive of content strategy across ABC Entertainment, Disney Branded Television, Freeform and Hulu Originals programming, reporting to Dana Walden, co-chairman, Disney Entertainment.
Erwich has been at the helm of Hulu Originals, leading development and strategy for Hulu’s original series since April 2014. He has overseen the diverse slate of Hulu’s premium content including the Emmy® and Golden Globe® Award-winning “The Handmaid’s Tale,” the first-ever series on a streaming service to take home both awards in the drama series category; “Only Murders in the Building,” which recently garnered 17 Emmy nominations and remains Hulu’s most-watched comedy series; “Dopesick,” which recently collected 13 Emmy nominations and spurred multiple culture-shifting moments; “The Kardashians,” the most-watched premiere in Hulu history and the most-watched unscripted series, and “Nine Perfect Strangers” which is the most-watched drama series on the platform. Additionally, in the documentary space, he oversaw “Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons,” which became the most-watched documentary series on the platform last summer, and “God Forbid: The Sex Scandal That Brought Down a Dynasty,” which became the most-watched documentary film last fall. Under his leadership, the streamer garnered 58 nominations total in 2022, more than double the prior record.
For the past three consecutive seasons, ABC Entertainment has ranked No. 1 in entertainment among Adults 18-49, fueled by breakout hits like “Abbott Elementary,” the network’s highest-rated comedy debut in two years. With Erwich’s oversight, the critically acclaimed show has become a cultural phenomenon, winning three Emmys and three Golden Globes its freshman season. In total, ABC received 23 Emmy nominations in 2022, including a third consecutive nod for “Live in Front of a Studio Audience,” which has been a pillar of the network’s expanded live event and unscripted programming strategy. ABC is also home to television’s longest-running primetime medical drama, “Grey’s Anatomy,” which recently celebrated its historic 400th episode and remains the network’s No. 1 drama and No. 1 entertainment series; and “The Bachelor” franchise, its No. 1 unscripted series. Additionally, ABC Entertainment continues to be at the forefront of the industry’s Diversity & Inclusion movement, having implemented standards to ensure that there are multidimensional voices in positions of influence across the entire creative and production process.
In February 2023, Erwich assumed oversight of linear programming for Disney Branded Television and Freeform. Disney Branded Television produces imaginative premium content for kids, tweens, teens and families for Disney+, Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior. Responsible for some of the most beloved and iconic characters in kids entertainment, the group continues to innovate, developing fresh new concepts for both signature and new original franchises. Shows like “Spidey and his Amazing Friends,” “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse,” “Firebuds,” “Superkitties,” “Raven’s Home,” “Hamster & Gretel,” and “Big City Greens” helped lead Disney’s kids networks to continued dominance in 2022, with Disney Channel earning the No. 1 spot for Kids and Girls 6-11, and Disney Junior closing the year as the No. 1 network for Kids 2-5. Erwich first added Disney Branded Television streaming strategy and content oversight in September 2022, just as the division began to expand into premium family programming for Disney+. The alignment of Disney Branded Television into his purview leveraged his expertise in streaming, bolstering Disney Branded Television’s content strategy for fueling Disney+ with broad, family-appealing original programming. Recent and upcoming banner projects for Disney+ include “National Treasure: Edge of History,” “American Born Chinese,” “The Santa Clauses,” “Percy Jackson and The Olympians” and “Goosebumps,” among many others.
Freeform’s distinct brand of coming-of-age programming helps to position it as the No. 1 primetime cable network in entertainment among Adults and Women 18-34 in the 2022-2023 TV season to date. Connecting to audiences with its bold original programming and immersive social engagement, Freeform channels the force and momentum of its young adult audience in its quest for progress with authentic, groundbreaking original series such as Emmy-nominated “grown-ish,” “Good Trouble,” “Single Drunk Female” and “Cruel Summer,” which was the No. 1 new cable drama of 2021 among Women 18-34. In 2022, “grown-ish” and “Single Drunk Female” ranked among cable’s Top 10 live-action original comedy series in key women demos.
In September 2022, in addition to Disney Branded Television streaming content strategy, Erwich assumed oversight of Walt Disney Television Alternative, the newly formed unscripted production unit led by Rob Mills. To date, WDTA has launched “Claim to Fame,” “Judge Steve Harvey” and “The Final Straw” for ABC, as well as the upcoming animated and live-action blended special, “Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration.”
Erwich previously served as the EVP of Warner Horizon Television (WHTV), a division of Warner Bros. Television Group, where he oversaw development, production and business operations. Before joining WHTV, he served as EVP of Programming at FOX Broadcasting Company for 12 years where he was instrumental in the development of hit series such as “24,” “House,” “Prison Break” and “The O.C.”