Programming Head Fisher Leaving Lifetime


Barbara Fisher, Lifetime Television’s head of programming for the past two years, won’t return to the women’s-targeted service when her contract expires at month’s end, network officials said.

Fisher, the former Universal Studios executive, joined Lifetime in June 2002, replacing Dawn Tarnofsky-Ostroff, who left earlier that year to become UPN Entertainment's president.

Under Fisher’s watch, Lifetime launched a pair of successful dramas: 1-800-MISSING (since renamed Missing) and Wild Card. It also bowed such reality fare as How Clean Is Your House and Merge.

A Lifetime spokesman said, “We thank Barbara for her contributions,” adding that a search for her successor has already begun.

Fisher, who is based in Los Angeles, has overseen all scheduling, programming and production for Lifetime, which wore the primetime-ratings household crowns in 2001 and 2002. The network has subsequently fallen from that perch.

At its upfront presentation to advertisers last month, Lifetime -- which averaged a 1.4 Nielsen Media Research household mark in April -- listed a schedule that will see an influx of original movies, as its telefilm output will rise to 19 from 12.

The distaff-aimed service, though, didn’t pick up either pilot it commissioned: Class Action and The Coven.