HBO Drama Head Francesca Orsi Extends Contract, Gets Updated Title

EXCLUSIVE: As she is getting ready to mark her 20th anniversary at HBO next year, Francesca Orsi has officially extended her contract at the premium network through 2026. Her new title is EVP, HBO Programming, Head of HBO Drama Series and Films.

Orsi is homegrown HBO talent. She joined the network in 2003 as an executive assistant to the head of drama and rose through the ranks to herself be named HBO head of drama a decade and a half later. For the past six years, since then-head of comedy Casey Bloys was elevated to President of Programming in 2016, Orsi has been a linchpin in his creative team.

In his first appointment as President of HBO Programming in 2016, Casey named then-SVP Orsi co-head of drama. Three years later, as EVP, Orsi became HBO’s sole head of drama, a position she has held since then. In 2020, Orsi’s role was expanded to include oversight of HBO Films following the departure of Len Amato. Her new title reflects that.

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Over the past six years, Orsi has shepherded a string of award-winning and culturally impactful series, which also have helped get HBO Max off the ground, including Succession, Big Little Lies, Mare of Easttown, Watchmen, The White Lotus, Euphoria, and, most recently, the Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon, which logged HBO’s biggest premiere audience ever and was quickly renewed for a second season. Coming up are HBO’s high-profile new drama series The Idol and The Last of Us. On the film side, Orsi recently oversaw the Emmy-nominated The Survivor and Oslo.

“Francesca’s taste, her deep understanding of storytelling and unmatched relationships with some of the best creators working today make her a truly distinguished drama executive,” said Bloys, Chief Content Officer, HBO & HBO Max. “I’m thrilled that Francesca has decided to continue her long and successful career at HBO and that we will continue to work together for years to come.”

After Bloys agreed to a new five-year new contract with Warner Bros. Discovery following the completion of the Discovery-WarnerMedia merger, locking in his top creative executives became a top priority. He has succeeded in doing so, as recently alluded to by WBD CEO David Zaslav during the company’s quarterly earnings call.

“Quality is what matters. Quality is what Casey and that team is delivering. It’s the best team in the business. We’re doubling down on that HBO team,” Zaslav said. “They’re all committed under contract and we’re going to spend dramatically more this year and next year than we spent last year in the year before.”

He later added, “The majority of the people on Casey’s team have been locked up.”

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