JoAnn Alfano exits Lifetime

Exec oversaw programming and development for cabler

Lifetime’s makeover under the leadership of Nancy Dubuc continued last week with word that JoAnn Alfano has departed her post as exec veep overseeing programming, scheduling and acquisitions.

Alfano had been with the cabler for nearly three years. Her exit was not a surprise, following Dubuc’s elevation to Lifetime prexy and g.m. last April.

Alfano, a longtime former NBC exec who is well-regarded by creatives, said she made the decision to depart a few months ago but stayed on to “shepherd some great projects through the development process.”

Dubuc called Alfano “a great asset to Lifetime over the last few years” and thanked her for sticking out the year of transition for the femme-centric cabler.

During her tenure as head of programming for Lifetime and Lifetime Movie Network, Alfano championed the dramedy “Drop Dead Diva,” among other shows, and such highly rated telepics as “Prayers for Bobby,” “Coco Chanel” and “Georgia O’Keeffe.” She also drove the cabler’s acquisitions of off-network series including “How I Met Your Mother” and “The New Adventures of Old Christine,” both of which were designed to draw a slightly younger aud to Lifetime.

But Lifetime hit a ratings slump about two years ago after a long period of growth.

Dubuc in recent weeks has begun to put her stamp on Lifetime’s programming slate, ordering a pair of detective drama series and a reality skein following Roseanne Barr as she tends to her macadamia nut farm in Hawaii.

Before joining Lifetime in 2008, Alfano spent four years as prexy of Lorne Michaels’ Broadway Video Television, where she helped shepherd “30 Rock” onto NBC. Alfano was a top programming and production exec for the Peacock for more than a decade, working on such series as “Will & Grace,” “Homicide,” “Providence,” “Scrubs” and “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”

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