Stephanie Leifer, Longtime ABC Programming Executive, Dies at 56

Stephanie Leifer, a longtime ABC programming executive of nearly 30 years, died Thursday to cancer. She was 56.

Leifer spent a combined 28 years at ABC and ABC Signature before stepping away in 2022. Her last role at the studio was as head of current programming for ABC Signature.

Leifer joined Disney Television Studios in 2006, but before that she spent 12 years climbing the ranks at ABC – joining the studio back in 1994. She made it all the way from assistant to an executive in current programming, drama development, and comedy development.

She had a hand in some of the biggest TV properties ABC put out in the last two decades including: “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Lost,” and “Ugly Betty.”

Before she was at ABC, Leifer began her career in Boston working for WBGH-TV. She also worked as a literary assistant for Writers and Artists Agency

“Stephanie was a beloved member of the Disney Entertainment Television family for nearly three decades, and our hearts are broken by the devastating news of her passing,” a Disney Entertainment TV spokesperson said in a statement to TheWrap. “She was a highly admired executive, whose creative impact was only matched by the relationships she nurtured both within the company and across the industry. Our sincerest condolences go out to her family, especially her husband and our colleague, Jonathan, and their two beautiful children, Amelia and Noah.”

The Disney Entertainment TV rep added that there will be a private funeral and a celebration of life scheduled in the near future. Donations in her honor can be made to CASA of Los Angeles, where Leifer was a court-appointed special advocate for foster children.

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