Disney TV Animation Solidifies Exec Ranks with Key Hires and Promotions

Eric Coleman.

Eric Coleman.

Basking in the success of its most successful year ever, Disney TV Animation is solidifying its leadership ranks.

Eric Coleman, who has spearheaded the revival of the division since joining from Nickelodeon in 2008, was promoted yesterday to senior vice president of original programming and general manager of Disney Television Animation (DTVA), as part of a broader move by the studio to upgrade its content development pipeline for Disney Junior, Disney Channel, and Disney XD.

Coleman, who was previously senior v-p of original series for DTVA, will continue to report to Gary Marsh, president and chief creative officer, Disney Channels Worldwide.

In addition to Coleman’s promotion, two new execs have joined the company and two other people have been promoted. Coleman and crew will be called into service for the studio’s forthcoming series, including The Lion Guard, Elena of Avalor, Tangled, DuckTales, Mickey and the Roadster Racers, and Pickle & Peanut.

Clockwise from upper left: Shane Prigmore, Bonnie Lemon,  Jonathan Schneider, Aaron Simpson.

Clockwise from upper left: Shane Prigmore, Bonnie Lemon, Jonathan Schneider, Aaron Simpson.

Here are the new Disney TV Animation appointments:

  • JONATHAN SCHNEIDER has been promoted to vice president of strategy. Schneider, who joined Disney Television Animation in 2010 as director of development and most recently served as executive director of development, will now be responsible for developing and implementing strategic direction and optimizing business operations across the television studio. He will continue to report to Coleman.
  • AARON SIMPSON has joined the company as vice president of development. Simpson joins Disney from Mondo Media where he served as head of development and executive-produced Fusion TV sketch series Like, Share, Die. He has also produced animation for Warner Brothers, Kids WB, Jib Jab, and Sony, and is founder of popular animation websites Cold Hard Flash and Line Boil. In his new role, Simpson will oversee all development activity, both long and short form, manage the development team, and work closely with current series in order to ensure a smooth transition of each property from pilot to production. He will report to Coleman.
  • SHANE PRIGMORE has been appointed to the role of vice president of creative affairs. Prigmore, who joined Disney Television Animation in 2014 to develop and act as co-executive producer and creative director on Tangled, the TV studio’s upcoming series based on Walt Disney Animation Studios’ acclaimed feature film, will now provide creative input across multiple departments including development, current series and production to spearhead the TV animation studio’s efforts to further expand its roster of world-class artists. An Annie Award-winning character designer, Prigmore’s credits prior to Disney include The Lego Movie, How to Train Your Dragon, Coraline and The Croods. He will report to Coleman.
  • BONNIE LEMON has joined the company as vice president of production. Lemon joins Disney from DreamWorks Animation where she most recently served as production executive on feature films including Kung Fu Panda 3, How to Train Your Dragon 2 and The Penguins of Madagascar. In her new role, Lemon will manage both in-house and outside productions across the Disney Junior slate, streamlining the process from development through post production. She will work closely with key executives, department heads, and creative teams and will report to Lisa Salamone Smith, senior vice president of production for Disney Television Animation.

“Through Eric’s selfless leadership and firm grasp on every aspect of storytelling, Jonathan’s extraordinarily collaborative style, and Shane’s incredible artistic talent, the TV Animation team, led by some of the most innovative minds in the animation industry today, is poised to continue delivering the highest quality creative content,” Marsh said in Disney Channel’s press release. “We’re thrilled to welcome Bonnie and Aaron to our production and development teams to expertly manage the complexity of TVA’s productions, both in development and on air, as we continue to expand our content slate.”