Seasoned unscripted executive Susan Levison, former head of original programming at VH1, has been named SVP Alternative Programming for CBS Television Studios. She will report to Senior EVP Ghen Maynard. CBS TV Studios launched the alternative department last fall when CBS veteran Maynard returned to the fold.
While the studio is building an executive suite with two heavyweights who have run network alternative departments, CBS has a pending vacancy with head of alternative Chris Castallo set to depart at the end of his current contract in September. There are no plans at the moment for either Maynard or Levison to move to the network.
Levison will work with Maynard to create and develop new alternative and unscripted content for all broadcast and cable networks, streaming services and digital platforms.
“I’ve known Susan a long time and am excited to have her join me in building our alternative operations at the Studio,” said Maynard. “She brings an entrepreneurial spirit that I’ve long admired, as well as outstanding creative chops as a producer, seller and buyer.”
Levison most recently served as executive producer on the upcoming VH1 scripted series Daytime Divas, starring Vanessa Williams. Levison served as EVP Original Programming & Production at VH1, overseeing all original programming and development from 2013-15. During her tenure, she launched such series as top-rated Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood and Dating Naked.
Previously, Levison was the first creative hire at FishBowl Worldwide Media, a startup production company. Levison began her career at Fox, where she started in the Alternative Department developing shows such as Paradise Hotel and The Simple Life. She then did stints in Drama Development and Comedy Development, becoming SVP Comedy and overseeing development of the animated series Bob’s Burgers and The Cleveland Show.