CBS’ executive vice president Julie Pernworth is departing the network after nearly 21 years. Calling the last year and a half of the pandemic “a time of reflection for many of us,” she shared that she is “exploring new possibilities” and will be leaving after her contract at the network runs up next week.
Pernworth first joined CBS in 2000 as VP of comedy development and stepped into her most recent role in 2015. Prior to joining the network, she was director of primetime series at NBC, working on “Freaks & Geeks,” “Ed,” and “3rd Rock from the Sun,” and before that worked as director of casting at the network, overseeing casting of “Friends,” “Mad About You” and “Just Shoot Me.”
CBS Entertainment head Kelly Kahl and network programming senior VP Thom Sherman hailed her “passion and incredible talent” for developing comedies, including “Two and Half Men,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “The Big Bang Theory,’ and “The Neighborhood.”
Deadline first reported news of her exit. Pernworth’s full letter to her colleagues is below:
To my Friends and Colleagues,
As they say in comedy, timing is everything. After nearly 21 years, I will be leaving CBS next week at the end of my contract. The last year and a half, with all its challenges, has been a time of reflection for many of us. And for me, it has meant exploring new possibilities.
I’ve had the most incredible experience working with dedicated and passionate teams, and truly the most talented creators, producers, actors, and directors in television.
In our constantly evolving industry, I’ve fought to keep the sitcom, often underappreciated, thriving–and that too has been a great privilege.
I’m especially proud that CBS’ Comedy slate stood consistently at #1 in ratings on my watch. This year alone, we had the top 7 comedies and have two fantastic new shows ready for the Fall, to continue that run.
To all those who’ve shared the trenches with me—the late-night tapings, last minute rewrites, cold (and sometimes delicious) craft services, eleventh hour casting, heated debates and negotiations— you know who you are—that creative collaboration has been the best part of this job. Please know I cherish those times and look forward to working together again.
I’ll be taking the summer off and will share my plans later this year.
I wish you all the best and will be rooting for your success.
Kahl and Sherman’s email is below:
As you may have just heard, Julie Pernworth has decided to leave the network and pursue the next chapter in her career. We have known and worked with Julie for a number of years and want to express our sincere appreciation for her wonderful contributions to the Network, and for her friendship. Her passion and incredible talent for developing series has been integral in the creation, launch and nurturing of many of our hit comedies, from Two and Half Men, How I Met Your Mother, and The Big Bang Theory, to The Neighborhood and our other current successes, plus her influence will continue to live on with our new series for the 2021-22 season.
It’s never easy to see a valued colleague move on but she’s had an amazing 20 plus year run and leaves us with the most enviable line up of comedies on TV and well positioned for the future.
Please join us in wishing her well and all the best
Kelly and Thom