Unscripted

Half Yard Productions rings in five years

Five years ago Discovery Channel executive Abby Greensfelder and TLC production and development SVP Sean Gallagher left their network jobs to start Half Yard Productions, the prodco behind Say Yes to the Dress and Hillbilly Handfishin'. Realscreen talked to the production partners about their first five years in business.
December 22, 2011

Five years ago Discovery Channel executive Abby Greensfelder and TLC production and development SVP Sean Gallagher left their network jobs to start Half Yard Productions. Today, as they close the company’s fifth anniversary year, they’re set to launch a spin off of the prodco’s TLC hit Say Yes to the Dress and multiple projects for assorted cable nets.

Among the latest projects from the Bethesda-based prodco are Candy Queen for TLC, and another round of How States Got Their Shapes for History, airing in the second half of 2012.

“We think it’s a clever and unique way of doing history without being hit over the head with a school lesson,” says Gallagher of the latter series.

Aside from a few more projects in the works for History and Discovery Channel, Half Yard is also currently shooting Randy to the Rescue, starring Say Yes to the Dress’ Randy Fanoli. The TLC series sees Fanoli traveling across the country, starting in Dallas, in an 18-wheeler filled with wedding dresses. Greensfelder says they’re creating pop-up wedding salons where brides will get a head to hem consultation or “bridal blueprint” from Fanoli. Greensfelder says seven more pop-up salons should appear across the U.S.

In February Jersey Couture, focusing on what Greensfelder calls a “blinged out dress shop in New Jersey,” premieres its second season on Oxygen.

Both Gallagher and Greensfelder say they’re proud of successfully making the transition from the network world to production.

“At a network your success is largely based on commissioning good ideas, cultivating producers and giving them guideance to make great shows,” says Greensfleder. “As a producer you have to become an idea factory, take shows from the nitty gritty to the end and be able to advocate for your ideas.”

“Being able to grow our business over five years with two offices, an incredible team behind us and to be able to create shows for both female and male networks, that have gone into multiple seasons are things I’m really proud of,” she adds.

“If I knew what it took to build a business I don’t know if I’d have ever done it,” adds Gallagher.

As for the next five years, Greensfelder said she’d like to be able to own more of their programs and develop onto new platforms, while Gallagher says it would be great to have a broadcast network show some day.

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