USA Network executive Heather Olander is joining Syfy, where she will lead the development of alternative series for the NBCU owned basic cable network.
Heather Olander is taking up her Syfy post as Senior Vice-President of Alternative Series Development and Production immediately and will report to Bill McGoldrick, Syfy’s Executive Vice-President of Original Content. She will be responsible for continuing to grow Syfy’s already large slate of alternative programming at a time when the network is heavily re-dedicating itself to scripted programming.
“Heather’s impressive pedigree and track record makes her the perfect choice to take over the reins of Syfy’s growing slate of high quality unscripted programming”, said Syfy President Dave Howe. “Syfy is committed to developing innovative, ambitious and ground-breaking unscripted series that fulfill Syfy’s strategic goal to “imagine greater” across all of our content and I’m confident Heather’s creative leadership will help raise the bar even higher.”
Olander held the same Alternative Series role at USA Network and as such was responsible for spearheading the network’s move into unscripted. She had particular success with Chrisley Knows Best, which has been picked up for season two. In the interim, Olander will continue to serve as Senior Vice-President of Alternative Series Development and Production for USA Network until the end of the year, when Jackie De Crinis will take over.
“Heather did a great job launching USA Network into the reality space”, added Bill McGoldrick, Syfy’s Executive Vice-President of Original Content. “We are very excited to bring an executive with her energy, taste and tenacity to Syfy where she will have a large canvas and many hours of alternative programming to oversee.”
Prior to her stint at USA Network, Heather Olander, who graduated with a B.A. from Cornell University, held senior roles at MTV and CBS. In her role as CBS Television Distribution’s President of Programming and Development, she was involved with developing new syndicated shows as well as overseeing current first-run strips.