As Executive Vice President of Alternative Programming, Jennifer O’Connell oversees the development and production of Lionsgate’s unscripted slate across all platforms. Ms. O’Connell is charged with growing the Company’s alternative television business and has secured deals with acclaimed reality producers Matt Kunitz (Kevin Hart: What The Fit, Fear Factor), Adam DiVello (Music City, The Hills), K.P. Anderson (The Joel McHale Show With Joel McHale, The Soup), and David Shumsky (Kicking & Screaming). More recently, the company announced a multiyear, first-look deal with prolific producer Cassian Elwes (Mudbound) and an overall television deal with acclaimed unscripted TV producers Katy Wallin (The Gong Show) and Stephanie Bloch Chambers (Chrisley Knows Best).
In addition, Ms. O’Connell brought in Lionsgate’s joint venture with renowned executive producer Jeff Apploff (Beat Shazam, Don’t Forget the Lyrics!) to create formats that travel the globe. She also works closely with Primal Media, the television production company in which Lionsgate UK invested in 2016, to create formats for both the UK and U.S. markets.
Lionsgate’s fast-growing portfolio of alternative programming includes the highly anticipated The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale for Netflix; Kevin Hart: What the Fit? for YouTube; In Fashion, one of Starz’ first unscripted series; Checked Inn, a new docuseries on OWN; and the upcoming Music City on CMT. Current series Revenge Bodywith Khloe Kardashian for E!, and Young Guns for Verizon Go90/Rated Red are headed into their second season.
Before joining Lionsgate in 2015, Ms. O’Connell served as Head of U.S. Television for CORE Media Group. Prior to that, she was Executive Vice President of Shed Media U.S. where she executive produced the Emmy Award®-nominated Who Do You Think You Are? (NBC), The Real Housewives of New York City (Bravo), Basketball Wives (VH1), The Marriage Ref (NBC), Dogs in the City (CBS) and several others. Ms. O’Connell also spent seven years at NBCU, first as Vice President of Movies and Miniseries where she oversaw the development of projects including the Emmy Award®-winning The Matthew Shepard Story, and then as Vice President of Alternative Programs where she was responsible for the first four seasons of The Biggest Loser. Ms. O’Connell also developed and produced movies for the Disney Channel where she served as a creative executive.
Ms. O’Connell is a mentor for The Hollywood Reporter and Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Women in Entertainment Mentorship program. She is also on the Emerson College Alumni Board and recently launched an advisory program that links alumni with students studying in Los Angeles.