Contact: Mary DonahueRegion: United States

Title: SVP Development and Programming
Genre: All
Region: United States

About Channel

HISTORY®, now reaching more than 98 million homes, is the leading destination for award-winning original series and specials that connect viewers with history in an informative, immersive and entertaining manner across all platforms. The network’s all-original programming slate, including scripted event programming, features a roster of hit series including American Pickers®, American Restoration™, Ax Men™, The Legend of Shelby the Swamp Man,  Counting Cars™, Pawn Stars®, and Swamp People®  as well as HISTORY®’s first scripted series Vikings, and epic miniseries and special programming such as The Bible and the Emmy® Award-winning Hatfields & McCoys, Gettysburg, Vietnam in HD, America The Story of Us®  and 102 Minutes That Changed America. The HISTORY® website is the leading online resource for all things history, and in 2011, the United States Library of Congress selected HISTORY®’s Civil War 150 site for inclusion in the historic collection of Internet materials related to the American Civil War sesquicentennial.

Programme Interests

Looking For

Here you can view a webinar with Mary Donahue, recording just before Realscreen 2018:


Watch Commissioner Overview

Watch Commissioner Showreel

Read Commissioner Brief


Mary Donahue was previously SVP, Non- Fiction, Lifetime, a position she assumed in September 2013. In that capacity, she was responsible for developing unscripted projects and for overseeing series, including new hits Bring It, True Tori and Kim of Queens. She also supervised a team of programmers and is part of the network’s senior strategic team. 

Prior to joining Lifetime, Donahue served as VP, Development and Production at History. 
In that role, she developed and supervised some of History’s highest rated hits. She was part of the team that developed and launched mega hit, Pawn Stars, serving as EP for over 200 episodes. She also developed spinoffs Counting Cars, American Restoration and Cajun Pawn Stars. In addition, Donahue developed and oversaw breakout hit Swamp People as well as the top rated special Gettysburg, nominated for eight Emmys and winner of four. She also developed new hits, Appalachian Outlaws and DownEast Dickering.

Prior to HISTORY, Donahue worked from 2004-2008 at Discovery, serving as EP, SEP and VP. She developed and launched an array of shows, including Man Vs. Wild, Storm Chasers, Cash Cab, Alaska Experiment and Future Weapons, as well as the Emmy nominated Expedition series with the BBC. Donahue also oversaw Mythbusters and Dirty Jobs, growing ratings on both series. 

Donahue worked as a producer on many shows/networks including The Oprah Winfrey Show, where she was a producer/field director for six years. She was a show runner on TLC’s A Wedding Story, guiding that series to its first ever live event and its first Emmy nomination and win. 

She is a cum laude graduate of Williams College and holds MA degrees in American Studies with a specialty in film studies from both Boston University and The University of Sussex in Brighton, England, where she was a Rotary scholar. 

Donahue has been nominated for seven Emmys and won four times. Programs she developed have earned 19 Emmy nominations in various categories.