‘American Masters’ creator Susan Lacy pairs with HBO

The 'American Masters' creator and executive producer (pictured) has signed a multi-year deal to produce and direct documentaries for the pay-TV network's doc division, HBO Documentary Films.
September 18, 2013

Susan Lacy (pictured) is leaving WNET to produce and direct documentaries for HBO.

Lacy is the creator and executive producer of the PBS strand ‘American Masters,’ the award-winning biography series that has profiled an array of figures in American culture over the past 27 years, from Charlie Chaplin and Ella Fitzgerald to George Balanchine and Andy Warhol.

She has signed a multi-year deal to produce and direct biographical documentaries for the pay-TV network’s doc division, HBO Documentary Films.

“I am now thrilled to become part of the HBO family,” she said in a statement. “To be able to focus solely on producing and directing documentary films at a place which is creating some of the best television in history is an opportunity I couldn’t resist.”

Since it began in 1986, ‘American Masters’ has produced 190 titles and won 14 primetime Emmy Awards. Lacy’s directing credits include the documentary Inventing David Geffin as well as films on Paul Simon, Lena Horne, Judy Garland and Joni Mitchell.

Prior to joining WNET, she held positions at the Sundance Institute, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as key roles on PBS strands ‘Great Performances’ and ‘American Playhouse.’

The 200th ‘American Masters’ film is Shane Salerno’s documentary about reclusive author J.D. Salinger, which is rolling out in theaters this fall ahead of its TV broadcast next year.

“It’s exciting to have someone as talented as Susan Lacy bring fresh ideas to HBO,” said HBO Documentary Films president Sheila Nevins. “I’ve long admired her film portraits, which have been consistently stellar over the years. We look forward to great things from her.”

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Jillian Morgan is a special reports editor at realscreen with a background in journalism and digital marketing. She joined the publication in 2019 after serving as the assistant editor to trade publications HPAC and On-Site. With a bachelor of journalism from the University of King's College in Halifax, she also works as a freelance writer and fact-checker.