Gena McCarthy has joined Lifetime as SVP reality & alternative programming. McCarthy will start on July 6, overseeing the development and production of unscripted series for the female-centered cable network and reporting to JoAnn Alfano, EVP entertainment. The top reality post at Lifetime has been vacant since the departure of Jessica Samet late last year. Lifetime has ventured into unscripted programming before, most notably with the acquisition of Project Runway under former CEO Andrea Wong. While scripted series will continue to be the focus, Lifetime’s reality portfolio is expected to grow under new president/GM Nancy Dubuc, who also runs the docu-driven History Channel. McCarthy most recently served as SVP development and production for Discovery Channel where she oversaw the development of such series as Pitchmen, The Colony, Dual Survival and Out of the Wild. McCarthy also has experience working at a female-oriented cable channel. She spent 2 years at WE as VP development and production where she created My Fair Wedding and oversaw Bridezillas.