HBO Taps Nancy Abraham, Lisa Heller as New Doc and Family Heads

Nancy Abraham and Lisa Heller -Split-Getty-H 2017
Michael Loccisano/FilmMagic; Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

The duo replace longtime HBO Documentary president Sheila Nevins, who is departing in early 2018.

HBO has already lined up its replacement for outgoing Sheila Nevins, the longtime head of documentary. The company announced Tuesday that department vice presidents Nancy Abraham and Lisa Heller will share the title of executive vp HBO documentary and family programming when Nevins officially departs in early 2018.

“With Nancy and Lisa leading a stellar team, there will be a continued commitment to the excellence that was a hallmark of Sheila’s tenure,” HBO programming president Casey Bloys said in a statement. “Our viewers can look forward to a compelling slate of programming.”

Both women are longtime HBO executives, with Abraham coming to the docs department in 1995 and Heller joining from PBS' POV in 2000. Between them, they've worked on such HBO hits as Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, Sesame Street, Nothing Left Unsaid: Gloria Vanderbilt & Anderson Cooper and The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst.

It's a swift move for HBO, which loses one of its most high-profile executives in Nevins. She has worked for the company for 38 years, overseeing a thriving documentary business that has earned the cable outfit 26 Oscars. As an executive producer, Nevins has won 32 Primetime Emmy Awards, 35 News and Documentary Emmys and 42 Peabody Awards.

“HBO is in my DNA and I will always consider it to be my alma mater,” Nevins said of her departure.