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Nancy Dubuc has long been a mainstay on THR’s Reality Power List. And why not? As president and general manager of History and Lifetime Networks, her stewardship has turned History into a top-three ad-supported cable network with one of the most-watched reality shows in Pawn Stars.
PHOTOS: THR’s 2012 Reality Power List
But now Dubuc’s mandate has expanded beyond the confines of unscripted series. This Memorial Day, History breaks into scripted territory with the premiere of the miniseries Hatfields & McCoys. It is a big-swing project that boasts A-list auspices (Oscar winner Kevin Costner) while still “keeping with the kind of pedigree we’re looking for,” says Dubuc, who has also ordered History’s first scripted series with The Vikings, which is currently casting with an eye toward a spring 2013 bow. “With scripted, we need to just do it and not sort of dip our toe in. Failure is not an option,” she says.
COMPLETE LIST: THR’s 2012 Reality Power List
When she took the top job at Lifetime in April 2011, Dubuc, 43, also added to her portfolio a general entertainment network with a three-pronged programming strategy that included reality, original movies and scripted series. She has brought buzz, stars (Jennifer Aniston, Demi Moore) and a renewed hipness to a 28-year-old brand long defined by its maudlin made-for-TV movies. And with a top-to-bottom rebrand and new tagline (“Your Life. Your Time”), she has completed Lifetime’s face-lift.
As for graduating from THR’s list, Dubuc says: “I have well-deserving people who work for me, like Dirk Hoogstra [No. 12], who should have been on the list instead of me a long time ago. I proved that I could handle the scripted side of Lifetime, and I’m about to prove it again at History.”
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