LORI OPENDEN NAMED SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, TALENT AND CASTING, THE CW
Lori Openden has been named Senior Vice President, Talent and Casting, The CW, the new fifth broadcast television network, a joint venture between Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corporation scheduled to launch in the Fall of 2006. The announcement was made today by Dawn Ostroff, who will become The CW's President of Entertainment.
Openden, who will report directly to Ostroff, will oversee the casting of series regulars, recurring roles and guest stars on all CW programming as well as talent development for the Network.
"Lori is an industry veteran with a reputation for discovering major talent and establishing wonderful relationships throughout the creative community," said Ostroff. "She will play a crucial role as we build The CW into the new home for the brightest stars of today and tomorrow."
Previously, Openden had served as Senior Vice President, Talent and Casting, UPN, since August 2005. Before joining the network, she had been working as a consultant and casting executive for UPN beginning in July 2003. Prior to UPN, she had been a freelance casting director working on several pilots and series such as "8 Simple Rules" and made-for-television films for both broadcast and cable networks.
From 1985 to 1999, Openden had been in the casting department of NBC, rising to the post of Senior Vice President, Talent and Casting. During her tenure, she supervised the casting of hundreds of pilots and series, including "ER," "Friends," "Seinfeld," "Frasier," "Law & Order," "Will & Grace," "Homicide: Life on the Street" and "West Wing." Additionally, she was directly involved with over 500 long-form projects at NBC.
As previously announced, the new CW Network will consist of a six-night, 13-hour primetime lineup including Monday through Friday nights from 8:00-10:00 PM (ET/PT); Sundays from 7:00-10:00 PM (ET/PT); Sunday from 5:00-7:00 PM (ET/PT) outside of prime time as well as a Monday-Friday afternoon block from 3:00-5:00 PM (ET/PT) and a five-hour Saturday morning animation block. Altogether, the network will program 30 hours a week over seven days.