Mary Donahue is Senior Vice President, Development and Programming, History. She rejoined the network in September, 2017, after spending four years as SVP Development and Programming at Lifetime, where she developed projects and oversaw current series, including Project Runway, Bring It, Dance Moms, Rap Game and the Little Women series. She also helped develop projects like Date Night Live and Election Live.
Prior to joining Lifetime, Donahue served as VP, Development and Production at History. In that role, she launched some of History’s highest rated series, including the mega hit, Pawn Stars, which she exec produced for over 200 episodes. She also 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 Counting Cars, American Restoration and Appalachian Outlaws.
Prior to joining HISTORY, Donahue worked from 2004-2008 at Discovery Channel, serving as Executive Producer, Senior Executive Producer and Vice President. During that time, she developed a broad 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 Natural History Unit. Donahue also oversaw Mythbusters and Dirty Jobs, growing ratings on both high profile series. She also supervised stunts, including several of the top rated years of Shark Week.
Donahue produced for a wide range of organizations and programs, including The Oprah Winfrey Show, where she was a producer/field director for six years. Donahue also worked for ABC News, NBC News, USA Today and CNN. She also served as a show runner on TLC’s A Wedding Story, guiding that long running 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 ten Emmys and won four times. Programs she developed have earned 19 Emmy nominations in various categories.