Lifetime Directs Telefilm Tandem

Lifetime Networks has a new tandem of industry veteran leading its original movie efforts.

The women’s-targeted programmer, which claims that it produces more telefilms than any cable network, has named Tanya Lopez as senior vice president, original movies and Nancy Bennett as vice president original movies.

A spokesman said the progerammer plans to premiere 13 Lifetime Original Movies, a pair of miniseries, and as many as 40 lower-budget telefilms in 2008.

In her new role, Lopez, who was working at ICM, is responsible for developing and overseeing all original movies for Lifetime and sister service, Lifetime Movie Network Lopez will report to Lifetime’s president of entertainment, Susanne Daniels.

In making the announcement, Daniels said, “I’m delighted to have Tanya join our team. She has excellent taste in material, has incredible negotiating skills and is extremely well-respected in the industry,” said Daniels in a statement. “She’s the perfect choice to lead Lifetime’s growth and expansion in the original movie area as we continue to be a destination for the industry’s top creative talent.”

At ICM, Lopez served as a TV packaging agent from 1987-2006, selling movies and miniseries to both broadcast and cable networks. She also developed both comedy and drama series, representing such programs as That’s Life, American Family and Life with Bonnie. Prior to ICM, she was vice president of drama series at CBS,

Reporting to Lopez, Bennett joined Lifetime in May from Mattel Entertainment, where she was supervising producer/director of entertainment and oversaw the development and production of the American Girl movie franchise. Her career also includes a stint as vice president of production, movies and miniseries for ABC Entertainment, where she developed and produced such movies as A Wrinkle in Time and The Miracle Worker