Cancer Takes ABC Family Programming Head

A six-year battle with breast cancer has sadly come to an end for Linda Mancuso, head of programming for Disney-owned ABC Family. The 44-year-old former NBC exec. passed away in the hospital Sunday night.

Mancuso had only been with ABC Family since November of 2002, but is credited with boosting the cabler’s ratings by launching of a slate of romantic comedies, according to Daily Variety. She was in charge of overseeing original movies, scripted series, reality programming and specials.

Mancuso previously held executive posts at NBC, where she played a key role in children’s and family programming. As president of Peter Engel Prods., she was instrumental in helping NBC complement its animated fare with live-action shows like the popular teen comedy Saved by the Bell.

Mancuso is survived by her sister Laura, brothers Rob and Rick and numerous nieces and nephews. Memorial services will be held Saturday in Chicago and on Jan. 14 in Los Angeles. Donations may be sent to the Linda Mancuso Memorial Fund at Good Samaritan Hospital at 1225 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, Calif. 90017.