Liz Gateley is returning to the executive ranks and to Lifetime. Gateley has been named EVP and Head of Programming for the network. She will oversee movies, scripted and unscripted series development for Lifetime and affiliated brands, reporting to EVP and GM Robert Sharenow. Lifetime had been without a dedicated head of programming since JoAnn Alfano, EVP Entertainment, exited in 2011, shortly after Lifetime was put under the purview of A+E Networks’ Nancy Dubuc.
“Liz has great passion and vision for the Lifetime brand,” Sharenow said. “She started her career here, developing scripted and reality series, before moving to MTV, where she had an incredibly successful run transforming that network and the TV landscape in general with a string of genre-defining hits… She is a multi-skilled executive who has proven to have an uncanny ability to hone in on the zeitgeist and help define popular culture.”
Gateley was SVP Series Development at MTV, working under president of programming Tony DiSanto, where she created reality show Laguna Beach and developed and executive produced its spinoffs The Hills and The City. Other hits Gateley and DiSanto oversaw included Teen Mom, 16 & Pregnant, Ridiculousness, Jersey Shore, and America’s Best Dance Crew. They also developed Teen Wolf, Awkward and Hard Times Of RJ Berger.
Gateley and DiSanto left MTV in 2011 to launch a production company, DiGa, which was subsequently recently acquired by ITV. While at DiGa, Gateley and DiSanto executive produced Teen Wolf and shepherded such reality hits as Kesha: My Crazy Beautiful Life for MTV, and the upcoming Oxygen series Player Gets Played.
“I am so excited to return to Lifetime. It’s such a strong brand and one I know and love,” Gateley said. “Tony and I have had an amazing 13-year run, and we’re proud to have made history with shows that influenced a generation.”
Gateley and DiSanto’s parting of the ways is said to be amicable. DiSanto will continue to lead the business. The company’s series portfolio also includes Scream for MTV, The Ed Bassmaster Show for CMT and Say It In Song (hosted by Red Foo LMFAO) for MTV International.
“I am so so excited for Liz and we all wish her the very best,” DiSanto said. “We thank her for helping make DiGa the success it is and look forward to working with her in her new role.”