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VH1 Taps Veteran Exec Susan Levison as Programming Chief (Exclusive)

Susan Levison Headshot - P 2013
Susan Levison

Levison, who spent years at Fox before joining FishBowl Media, replaces Jeff Olde as the cable network's executive vp original programming and production.

VH1 has found a new programming chief.

Veteran executive Susan Levison has been tapped to lead the creative development team as executive vp original programming and production for the Viacom-owned cable network. Levison will be Los Angeles-based and is expected to oversee all original programming currently on the air, including breakout Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta and recently renewed scripted series Hit the Floor, as well as development for both coasts. She replaces Jeff Olde, who left the network after seven years to take the programming reins at female-focused E!

“Susan’s proven expertise in crafting engaging stories with strong characters in reality formats and scripted dramas and comedies makes her a perfect match for VH1 and our successful mix of music, pop culture, humor and nostalgia programming,” said VH1 president Tom Calderone, to whom she’ll report. 

He added of both the skill set and the Rolodex that Levison intends to provide: “Susan is a highly respected and successful executive, having earned a stellar reputation in the creative community with both talent and producers, and we’re happy to welcome her to the VH1 family.”

Levison, who once graced THR's Next Generation list, comes by way of FishBowl Worldwide Media, where her team has sold unscripted series to networks including Bravo (Toned Up), truTV (Upload with Shaquille O’Neil), Fuse (Off Beat) and VH1 (I’m Married To A…) as well as a collection of scripted projects. Additionally, she executive produced Ultimate Surprises, a web series that ran for three seasons on Yahoo. 

Before FishBowl, Levison served as senior vp comedy development at Fox, where she oversaw development of such animated series as The Cleveland Show and Bob’s Burgers. Prior to that, she worked in drama development at the broadcast network, and was involved in the creation of House, Prison Break and still-running Bones. And she got her start at Fox in still another department -- alternative programming, where she assisted in the development of hit reality shows including American Idol, Temptation Island and The Simple Life. Her career began in the TV lit department at CAA.