Pearlena Igbokwe is Chairman, Universal Studio Group (USG), where she leads four powerhouse studios: Universal Television, Universal Content Productions (UCP), Universal Television Alternative Studios and Universal International Studios that produce over 3,000 hours of programming currently airing or streaming around the globe. Igbokwe reports directly to Jeff Shell, CEO NBCUniversal.
In her capacity as Chairman, Igbokwe and her team support a slate of ambitious storytellers, including Jordan Peele, Sam Esmail, Nahnatchka Khan, Tina Fey, Seth MacFarlane, Julie Plec, Amy Poehler, Tanya Saracho, Michael Schur, Alan Yang, David Heyman, Selwyn Hinds, Tarell McCraney, Lorne Michaels, Gareth Neame, Debra Martin Chase, Nick Antosca and Dick Wolf, among numerous others.
Igbokwe currently oversees 129 projects across 29 platforms worldwide, including the broadcast networks, streamers and numerous cable outlets. Notable USG projects under her purview include “Hacks,” “Never Have I Ever,” “Girls5eva,” “Young Rock,” “The Umbrella Academy,” “Dr. Death,” “Gaslit,” “Joe vs. Carole,” “Made in Chelsea,” “Clickbait,” “We Are Lady Parts,” “Making It” and longtime NBC favorite “Hollywood Game Night.” Universal Studio Group also houses NBCUniversal Formats, original podcast platform USG Audio and graphic novel imprint USG Graphic.
From 2016-20, Igbokwe was President, Universal Television, where she oversaw creative development, casting and production and led the division to new heights with record production output. Some of her development highlights include “Russian Doll,” “The Good Place,” “New Amsterdam,” “The Bold Type,” “Good Girls” and Dick Wolf’s successful “FBI”-branded series, 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, for NBC Entertainment, where she developed the top-rated new broadcast dramas for three out of her four years in the role (“The Blacklist,” “Blindspot” and “This Is Us”). Previously she 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 and supervised the Emmy Award-winning and critically acclaimed original series “Nurse Jackie” and developed the pilot for “Masters of Sex,” starring Michael Sheen. 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.
She currently serves on the boards of the Hollywood Radio and TV Society (HRTS), National Association of TV Programming Executives (NATPE), Television Academy Executive Committee and the Friends Board of the Saban Community Clinic.
Igbokwe has a bachelor of arts degree from Yale University and an MBA from Columbia University. She was born in Nigeria and resides in Los Angeles with her husband and two children.