The Emmy-winning producer and programmer (30 Rock, Scrubs, Will & Grace) is the former head of Lorne Michaels’ production company Broadway Video and NBC’s ex-comedy chief and one-time SNL publicist. Now JoAnn Alfano replaces Suzanne Daniels as Lifetime’s entertanment chief, but gets a lesser title than president. Daniels, whose Army Wives became the highest-rated series in Lifetime’s history, will remain a consultant. UPDATE: I’ve shortened Lifetime’s announcement:
NEW YORK — JoAnn Alfano, a driving creative force behind critically acclaimed hits such as 30 Rock, Scrubs, Will & Grace, Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Homicide: Life on the Street, has been named Executive Vice President, Entertainment, Lifetime Networks, effective immediately. During her more than 20-year career as a network executive, Alfano led the drama and comedy departments at NBC. Before joining Lifetime, Alfano was executive producer of 30 Rock, as well as president of her production company, TV Tray Entertainment, which had a first look deal at NBC Universal Media Studios.
Alfano will be responsible for the programming and scheduling of Lifetime Television and Lifetime Movie Network, the two highest-rated women’s networks, as well as Lifetime Real Women.
She will be based in the company’s Los Angeles office.
In making the announcement, Andrea Wong, President & CEO, Lifetime Networks, said: “As an accomplished and seasoned executive, JoAnn understands television from both the network and production perspective.
Over her career, she has compiled an extensive record of success in comedies and dramas, and forged strong relationships with top-flight talent within the creative community. JoAnn has the ideal combination of creative instincts and leadership skills to develop our next generation of series and movies.”
Alfano said: “Everything I’ve done in my career has led me to this point. I hear about programming jobs all the time and not many turn my head, but this was different. Lifetime is an amazing brand, loved by women and respected in the industry, and to be able to speak to an audience I’m deeply invested in, well, it may sound corny, but it really is the opportunity of a lifetime. I can’t wait to start developing new programming and build upon the terrific foundation that Andrea, Susanne, and their staff have created.”
Prior to starting TV Tray Entertainment in June 2007, Alfano was President of Broadway Video Television, where she developed and executive produced NBC’s 30 Rock and the ABC series Sons and Daughters.
Alfano rose through the ranks at NBC, from New York-based publicist to become Senior Vice President of Drama Development, and then Senior Vice President of Comedy Development. She also was Vice President of Prime Time Series for NBC Studios. Before that, Alfano was Director of Current Comedy for NBC Entertainment. She had previously been Director, NBC Media Relations and Primetime Series.