MTV Names Susanne Daniels President of Programming
MTV (a unit of Viacom Inc. NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA) today announced that programming veteran Susanne Daniels – formerly head of programming at The WB Television Network ("Gilmore Girls," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Dawson's Creek," "Smallville," "Charmed"), President of Entertainment at Lifetime ("Army Wives," "Drop Dead Diva"), and Director of Comedy Development at FOX ("Living Single," "Martin") – is joining MTV as President of Programming. Daniels will oversee all development and programming for the network, including scripted and reality series, news and documentaries, production and talent. She will be based in Los Angeles, and report to Van Toffler, President of MTV Music & Logo Group, and Stephen Friedman, President of MTV.
Addressing the milestone hire, Toffler said, "Susanne's delivered more breakthrough pop culture hits in one decade than most producers do in their entire lifetimes. Very few people have the talent and instincts to consistently develop shows that connect with young audiences, but Susanne has thankfully kept in perfect touch with her juvenile side and we're extremely lucky she will now be joining our restless, creative family here at MTV."
Friedman added, "MTV is committed to constantly pioneering new, groundbreaking programming – our audience demands it of us – and I can't think of a person better equipped to help us deliver on this promise than Susanne. Her vision, creativity and proven track record will be an enormous addition to our already stellar stable of top-notch programming talent."
After almost three years at MTV, David Janollari, current Head of Programming, decided to not renew his contract.
"David played an important role in advancing MTV's leadership position the last few years – particularly in fortifying our scripted programming strategy with such hits as 'Teen Wolf' and 'Awkward' and the critically acclaimed 'I Just Want my Pants Back,'" added Friedman. "We will always be grateful for his contributions and wish him the best."
Daniels will begin her new role at MTV effectively immediately. In 1994, she began an incredible run as President of Entertainment at The WB Network (now The CW) generating a string of culture-defining hits including "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Dawson's Creek," "Felicity," "Angel," "Smallville," "Gilmore Girls," "7th Heaven" and "Charmed." She then went on to oversee all programming at Lifetime Television and Lifetime Movie Network – the two highest-rated women's networks on television – as well as Lifetime Real Women. During her tenure there, she created the breakout hits "Army Wives" and "Drop Dead Diva," as well as their all-time highest rated movies "Fantasia" and "Human Trafficking," and advanced Lifetime's position as the #1 women's channel. Earlier in her career, Daniels served as Director of Comedy Development at Fox Broadcasting Company ("Martin," "Living Single") and Director of Variety, Reality and Specials at ABC Television Network (the Academy Awards, "American Detective," "America's Funniest People"). She began her career as an assistant to Lorne Michaels at "Saturday Night Live," and after just one year, was promoted to Manager of Development for Michaels' Broadway Video Entertainment, where she helped unleash "Kids in the Hall" upon an unsuspecting world.
Daniels said, "I grew up watching and loving MTV. It's remained a dynamic, young and meaningful brand. I'm excited to be a part of it and work with Stephen and Van, two people whom I've admired for a long time."
Most recently in a consulting role, Daniels has been credited for helping boost ratings at Oprah Winfrey's OWN, and now brings to MTV a sterling record of developing hit shows that viscerally connect with the network's core audience of young women. She also serves on the prestigious boards of The Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, Children Now and Common Sense Media, among other advisory roles. Additionally, Daniels is an accomplished author and frequent guest speaker at industry events. She and her husband Greg Daniels (Co-Creator and Executive Producer of Fox's "King of the Hill" and Executive Producer of both NBC series "The Office" and "Parks and Recreation") reside in Los Angeles with their four children.
MTV is the number one, full day, ad supported cable entertainment network for the coveted P12-34 audience, with more top ten cable series for the year (FY' 2012) than any other network (3 of the top 10). MTV is also the top global youth media brand according to Interbrand.