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Pearlena Igbokwe

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pearlena Igbokwe is the chairman of Universal Studio Group,[1] a division of NBCUniversal. She is responsible for all aspects of creative affairs and production for four studios: Universal Television, Universal Content Productions (UCP), NBCUniversal International Studios and Universal Television Alternative Studio.

She is the first woman of African descent to head a major U.S. television studio, as she comes from the Igbo tribe of Nigeria.[2]

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • Interview with Pearlena Igbokwe, President of Universal Television,
  • Pearlena Igbokwe: Oral and Video Collection Interview
  • Emmanuel Igbokwe


Early life and education

Igbokwe was born in Lagos, Nigeria in the 1960s. She lived with her family in a village which was affected by bomber planes while they depended on airlifted food during the Nigerian Civil War. She moved to the United States at the age of six.[3] She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University and an MBA from Columbia University.[4]


From June 2016 to September 2020, Igbokwe was president of Universal Television[5] where she oversaw creative development, casting and production for one of the country's largest and most successful studios. She led the division to new heights with record volume, commercial success and critical acclaim. Some of her programming highlights include Russian Doll, The Good Place, New Amsterdam, The Bold Type, Good Girls, and Dick Wolf’s successful new franchise, FBI and FBI: Most Wanted, among numerous other notable projects. In a highly competitive landscape, Igbokwe was able to secure pickups for her projects on every major streaming service, a variety of premium cable outlets and every broadcast network.

Before her studio role, Igbokwe served as executive vice president, drama programming,[6] for NBC Entertainment, where she developed the top-rated new broadcast dramas for three out of her four years in the role (Blacklist, Blindspot and This Is Us).

Igbokwe worked at Showtime for 20 years where she was involved in developing the pilot and overseeing the first five seasons of Dexter, Showtime's most popular series ever. She also developed the pilot for Masters of Sex, starring Michael Sheen, and supervised the Emmy Award-winning and critically acclaimed original series Nurse Jackie. In addition, she shepherded Tracey Ullman's State of the Union, Damon Wayans' The Underground, Kirstie Alley's Fat Actress and the television adaptation of the hit feature film Barbershop. She was also instrumental in the five-season run of the hit Showtime series Soul Food, a two-time NAACP Image Award winner for best drama series.


  1. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (2020-09-09). "Pearlena Igbokwe Promoted To Lead NBCU's Global TV Studio Operation, Bonnie Hammer Named Vice Chairman". Deadline. Retrieved 2022-12-21.
  2. ^ David, Adetula (2016-06-06). "Meet Pearlena Igbokwe, the first Nigerian woman to head a major US television network". Ventures Africa. Retrieved 2022-12-21.
  3. ^ "Pealena Igbokwe". Ladybrille. Retrieved January 13, 2018.
  4. ^ Max Ndianafo (August 13, 2016). "20 Facts on US based Pearlena Igbokwe as she records a 1st in US TV Network". CP Africa.
  5. ^ "Pearlena Igbokwe Named President of Universal Television". Variety. 2016-06-03. Retrieved 2022-12-21.
  6. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (2012-07-10). "NBC Names Pearlena Igbokwe New Drama Head". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2022-12-21.
This page was last edited on 19 November 2023, at 16:50
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