WE slots original pair

Net ups 2 in programming plan

Underscoring its commitment to original programming, women’s cable network WE has named Steve Cheskin senior VP of programming and tapped Gena McCarthy veep of development and production.

Cheskin, who will report to WE exec VP-general manager Kim Martin, will oversee all program development, production, scheduling and acquisitions for the net. He has been consulting on programming strategy for the cabler since March.

During that time, Cheskin has overseen upcoming series “Dirty Dancing: Living the Dream” (Daily Variety, May 30) and “Designer to the Stars: Kari Whitman” (Daily Variety, Feb. 24) for the channel, in addition to originals “American Princess,” “Secret Lives of Women” and “John Edward Cross Country.” 

McCarthy will work with Cheskin and the programming team in developing series, specials and stunts and with the net’s internal team of producers.

WE has also ordered an additional six episodes of “John Edward Cross Country,” whose premiere was the highest rated on the network for an original series. Those extra episodes begin Aug. 25.

Cheskin previously served as exec VP-general manager of the Travel Channel and before that as VP of programming for TLC.

McCarthy is also a Discovery Networks vet, working most recently as an exec producer for Discovery Channel hits “Dirty Jobs,” “Mythbusters” and “Deadliest Catch.” She also exec produced TLC series “For Better or for Worse,” “Faking It” and “Junkyard Megawars.”

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