When Nancy Dubuc made an appearance in this report last year, she was serving as SVP, non-fiction and alternative programming at A&E and had recently launched A&E IndieFilms, the ever-more-notable feature arm of that same broadcaster. Fast forward a year, and Dubuc (obviously bored with her continued successes at A&E) has taken on an even greater role: that of EVP and GM of The History Channel. The move actually marks Dubuc’s second stint at THC, having previously served as director of historical programming.
During her tenure at A&E, Dubuc oversaw the cablecaster’s aggressive move into the world of unscripted television, notably with such hits as Criss Angel: Mindfreak, Intervention, Inked and Dallas Swat – all moves which helped to significantly lower the age of the average viewer showing up to sample the broadcaster’s fare. Look for that aggressiveness to continue with Dubuc’s return to THC, as she’s stated her preference to drop the channel’s average age by five years by 2008. New titles include a two-hour program partnership with George Lucas entitled Star Wars: The Legacy Revealed to mark the thirtieth anniversary of that property; and upcoming fare includes A Global Warming, Lost Book of Nostradamus, and China’s First Emperor. While History’s traditional tanks and men-at-arms programming will (thankfully) never disappear, look for its offerings to move forward with the boldest interpretation of what ‘history’ might mean.
Dubuc also lost no time strengthening her team, bringing on significant bench strength in the form of former Discovery Networks VP of factual programming David McKillop. He takes on the new post of SVP of development and programming, tasked with bringing new series into the sked. If backed with the right marketing and positioning, look for History to match or exceed the success A&E has been enjoying of late.