Executive Vice President & Head of Programming, Lifetime® Unscripted & FYI™
Emmy®-nominated programming executive Gena McCarthy was appointed Executive Vice President, Head of Programming, Lifetime® Unscripted & Head of Programming, FYI,™. In her role, McCarthy oversees programming and development for all unscripted programing for Lifetime and all programming and content creation for FYI,™.
Previously, McCarthy served as Executive Vice President, Programming and Development of FYI,™ where she oversaw all programming and development of the network, including the hit docuseries Married at First Sight®, Tiny House Nation™ and more.
Before moving to FYI,™ in July 2016, McCarthy was Senior Vice President, Reality and Alternative Programming for Lifetime® Networks. In this position, she led all development and production of the network’s unscripted programming. McCarthy oversaw the development and creation of the popular hit series Dance Moms® and its spin-off, Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition™, as well as Preachers’ Daughters, Project Runway® All-Stars, Pretty Wicked Moms and Kim of Queens. She also developed the hit series Bring It! and led production of the Emmy®-nominated smash hit Project Runway® and the award-winning Coming HomeTM, among others.
Prior to joining Lifetime®, McCarthy was Senior Vice President Development and Production for Discovery Channel, where she managed the creation and execution of more than 500 primetime series and specials, including the innovative hits Pitchmen, Dual Survivor and The Colony. She also oversaw the development and production teams across all content, including blockbusters Deadliest Catch, Life, Stormchasers and Man vs. Wild. In an earlier tenure at Discovery, McCarthy was Executive Producer of brand-definitional hit series and stunts including Dirty Jobs, Mythbusters and Shark Week.
From 2006 to 2008, McCarthy was Vice President, Development and Production at WE-tv, where she launched successful series and specials for the network. She created the hit series My Fair Wedding, oversaw Bridezillas to record growth and co-created and ran the network’s signature primetime wedding block. McCarthy also developed key hit series including The Locator, High School Confidential and Women Behind Bars.
A six-year veteran of TLC’s programming and production units from 1998 to 2004, McCarthy codeveloped and executive produced multiple successful series and specials for the network. She codeveloped the groundbreaking genre-buster Junkyard Wars and executive produced series including Mostly True Stories: Urban Legends Revealed, In a Fix, For Better or for Worse and Faking It.
McCarthy began her career at WQED Pittsburgh in 1993, where she started as a copywriter and publicist and was eventually named Manager of Development and Production on the children’s series Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego? and the Wonderworks family movie franchise.
McCarthy graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a BA in English writing and history.