Spike’s Sharon Levy Departs

Longtime programming EVP to leave company

Spike TV veteran Sharon Levy is leaving the network as it prepares for a complete rebrand next year.

Levy, executive vice president of original series, said Tuesday in an internal e-mail that she’s leaving “to pursue other opportunities.” Levy joined Spike in 2005 and oversaw the development of such network hits as Bar Rescue and Ink Master and, more recently, Lip Sync Battle. She also moved the network into the scripted realm with the miniseries Tut and its upcoming limited series The Mist.

Levy’s departure comes nearly two weeks after Spike parent Viacom Inc. announced that the network will be rebranded into The Paramount Network in 2018.

Spike TV president Kevin Kay in a separate e-mail thanked Levy for “everything that she has accomplished at Spike,” and added that Levy has been a “great partner, teammate and friend to me and the entire staff.”

Levy’s internal e-mail note reads as follows: As the winds of change blow through our hallways, bringing excitement for what will come, it is also the perfect time for me to do a little soul searching.  

I have reached a very hard decision which is to answer the call of the wild and leave Spike to pursue other opportunities.  

The network has been a great life adventure, bringing me from deserts of Morocco to the remote countryside of Nova Scotia and everywhere in between.  From enduring an intensely hot and humid August day in Manhattan to shoot the pilot of Ink Master to trudging through five feet of snow to meet Jay Z on the red carpet at Sundance, it certainly has been a wild ride.  I have collaborated with every type of artist our medium shares, from writers, actors, producers, directors, documentarians, comedians and animators.  And somehow it never felt like work and that is all because of you. Please keep this place special and continue to be kind to one another, no matter what the future throws at you.  It has always been the underdog spirit that has made Spike one of the greatest places to be, and carrying that torch is on each of you.

I want to thank Kevin Kay for ten years of partnership, his faith and bravery, and most importantly his sense of humor.  We have been together more than most marriages and that is truly impressive.  I would not even have had this opportunity to lead development and programming for all these years if it hadn’t been for my mentor and dear friend, Doug Herzog, a world class leader who continues to inspire in all ways, especially his current Instagram feed.

And now the hard part, the inner circle.  I have been the luckiest girl in the world to come in to the office every day and be partners with an amazing team. Chachi, Ted, Hayley, Lauren, Tori, Justin, Chaz, Erin, Ryan, Todd and Danielle.  You have calmed me down on turbulent flights, picked every restaurant I have eaten at in the last two years, showed me how to bargain shop, introduced me to the world of cool sneakers, and that’s just a Tuesday.  We have made some great TV together, and some less so, but we have always pushed and supported each other to be the best we could be and did it while laughing, a lot.  I will miss you, but our connections are deeper than the place we call work.  My greatest gift from Spike has been this group of people I will call friends forever.

There are so many great things to come for you all, and I will be here for the next couple of weeks helping keep the trains on the tracks and gearing up for the exciting launch of my personal favorite project, “Time:  The Kalief Browder Story.”  I will always root for Team Spike, and am excited to see all the amazing accomplishments you create together over the next year.  Go big or go home.