Gena McCarthy, Lifetime’s EVP and head of programming for unscripted and FYI’s head of programming, is exiting A+E Networks after a decade to pursue “new creative adventures,” according to the cable group.
McCarthy (pictured) joined Lifetime in 2010 as SVP of reality and alternative, developing and producing a wave of shows including Dance Moms, Bring It!, Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition, Project Runway All-Stars, Preachers’ Daughters and The Week the Women Went.
The executive also managed ongoing production of Project Runway when it migrated to Lifetime from Bravo between 2009-2019. She pivoted in 2013, joining lifestyle brand FYI as content chief. The brand launched 10 months after she joined with Married at First Sight, Tiny House Nation and Epic Meal Empire, followed by The Seven Year Switch, Arranged, Zombie House Flipping, Outback Nation, #BlackLove, Man Vs. Child and others.
She returned to Lifetime three years ago, establishing Married at First Sight as an anchor franchise, and expanding its universe with spin-offs including Couples Cam, Second Chances and Unmatchables. She developed Marrying Millions, Bride and Prejudice and Love at First Flight, and oversaw production of Little Women and Supernanny.
McCarthy also greenlit and launched tentpole documentary events including Surviving Jeffrey Epstein, Wendy Williams: What a Mess! and the upcoming Aly Raisman: From Darkness to Light.
“Gena is an exceptional person and creative executive,” said Paul Buccieri, president of A+E Networks Group, in a statement. “We thank her for her leadership, and for her many lasting contributions to the company, and wish her ongoing success.”
“It’s been a true pleasure serving as a teammate and team leader in two successful chapters of the Lifetime story,” McCarthy added. “And launching FYI remains a collaborative, joyful and inventive milestone. I thank A+E Networks for both opportunities, and thank Paul Buccieri for his vision and guidance.”