Marriott Marquis | Washington, DC | Sunday, January 28 – Wednesday, January 31, 2019

Speaker Sam Donnelly

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Sam Donnelly

Executive Producer

America's Got Talent

Sam Donnelly serves as Fremantle’s executive producer on America's Got Talent. The show has reigned as the No. 1 entertainment show of the summer for 13 straight years.  This past summer, AGT averaged 14 million viewers each week and was also the No. 1 most social broadcast TV show of the summer based on Nielsen Social Ratings.  Welcoming acts of any age, any talent, Donnelly has been with the show for seven seasons and throughout her tenure has helped to discover amazing performers such as singing ventriloquist Darci Lynne, singer Grace VanderWaal, and magicians Shin Lim and Mat Franco.  In addition, this winter she experienced much success with the first-ever Got Talent global brand extension, America’s Got Talent: The Champions, which finished out the season as the No. 1 alternative series.   

Prior to joining the series in the U.S., Donnelly worked for Thames Television as executive producer on the Fremantle/Syco Entertainment series,Britain’s Got Talent. Donnelly first worked with the hosts of ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent, Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly (known in the U.K. as Ant & Dec), when she joined their TV production company, Gallowgate Productions, in 2010.

Previously, Donnelly spent six years working on BBC’s smash-hit competition series Strictly Come Dancing, the precursor to the U.S. sensation Dancing with the Stars. She served as the show’s executive producer from 2007-09, as well as its sister series for dance hopefuls,Strictly Dance Fever.

Donnelly’s television career began at the BBC where, for more than a decade, she moved through the ranks, beginning as a researcher for the prestigious talk show Parkinson and taking on a variety of production positions. She had oversight of some of the BBC’s most highly rated and highly regarded series, including The British Academy of Film and Television Awards, BBC One’s New Year’s Eve celebrations and A BAFTA Tribute, which recognized British entertainment icons such as Victoria Wood, Bob Monkhouse, Ronnie Barker and Billy Connolly. She would later oversee BBC’s Saturday night entertainment series The Magicians when working for Elisabeth Murdoch’s production company, Shine. 

In 2005, Donnelly was instrumental in convincing British comedy legend Ronnie Barker to come out of retirement and reunited him with partner Ronnie Corbett for The Two Ronnies Sketchbook, a retrospective series she produced that celebrated some of the team’s best and most memorable sketches.

Originally hailing from the UK, Donnelly currently resides in L.A. where she has developed a passion for boxing, as well as hitting the hiking trails in the city’s great outdoors.


Speaking on: The Twists and Turns of Fast Turnaround TV

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