Lifetime Television executive Maria Grasso has been named senior vice president of programming for OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network.
In her new role, Grasso, whose credits include Army Wives,One Tree Hill and Everwood, joins Nina Wass in overseeing development of scripted, alternative, short and long-form programming for OWN, which is slated to bow sometime in 2009. Grasso and Wass will also manage the creative department, production, and scheduling. Based in Los Angeles, Grasso starts her new gig Nov. 3.
“Maria brings to the table an exceptional track record and desire to contribute to the world through television in a whole new way,” said OWN president Robin Schwartz, to whom she will report, in a statement. “Together. Maria and Nina will be a dynamic creative team. We are on our way.”
Grasso comes to OWN from Lifetime, where she was senior vice president, series development and current programming since 2006, responsible for all scripted series. During her tenure, she developed and oversaw Army Wives, the most successful series in the network’s 24-year history. She also developed the new comedy Rita Rocks, starring Nicole Sullivan, Richard Ruccolo and Tisha Campbell-Martin.
Before that, she served as senior vice president, drama development, WB, where she was instrumental in developing such primetime series as Supernatural, Everwood and One Tree Hill.
Her resume also includes entries as executive vice president, development for Will Vinton Studios, and senior vice president of comedy development at both Warner Bros. Television and Universal Television. She began her career at MTV Networks.