HBO Confirms Sheila Nevins Exiting In 2018 As Documentary Films President

Sheila Nevins

HBO has released more details of the departure of Sheila Nevins, the longtime president of HBO Documentary and Family Programming.

The premium cabler said today in a release that Nevins is leaving the network in early 2018 to “pursue the rest of my life.”

The New York Times first reported Nevins was exiting HBO after 38 years in a lengthy profiled published on Saturday.

“HBO is in my DNA and I will always consider it to be my alma mater,” said Nevins.


“The word legend is often thrown around loosely in our business, but in Sheila’s case it actually applies,” says HBO chairman and CEO Richard Plepler. “She has been an integral part of HBO’s extraordinary success. Her impact, not only in the documentary field, but throughout popular culture is nothing short of remarkable, and she has built an extraordinary team that is second to none in our industry. To say that we will miss her is insufficient, but we are thrilled that she will continue to wear her artistic hat on a number of documentary projects for HBO in the coming years.”

During her tenure at HBO, Nevins oversaw the production of more than 1000 documentary films and earned 32 Primetime Emmys as an executive producer or producer, more than any other individual. In addition, she received 35 News and Documentary Emmys and 42 George Foster Peabody Awards. HBO’s critically acclaimed documentaries have also gone on to win 26 Academy Awards.

Nevins was named vice president, Documentary and Family Programming in 1985; appointed senior vice president, Original Programming, in 1995; promoted to executive vice president, Original Programming, in 1999; and named president, HBO Documentary Films, in 2004, responsible for overseeing the development and production of all documentaries and family programming for HBO, HBO2 and Cinemax.

She has been honored with numerous career achievement awards, including, most recently, the 2017 DOC NYC’s Lifetime Achievement Award and the 2009 Governors Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, and was made an NYU Tisch School of the Arts Honoree. She is also the recipient of a 2008 Gotham Awards Tribute; a 2005 Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to the art of the documentary, the first time the National Television Academy awarded Lifetime Achievement recognition to a documentarian; and a Personal Peabody in 1999 in recognition of her work and ongoing commitment to excellence. She won the first George Foster Peabody Award ever presented to a cable program for She’s Nobody’s Baby, which was produced with Ms. magazine.

Nevins is also the New York Times bestselling author of You Don’t Look Your Age…and Other Fairy Tales, published by Flatiron Books.


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