Unlike her fellow Hall of Fame inductees, Sheila Nevins is not an icon of popular culture. She’s probably a household name only in her own household. Yet to those in the documentary community, Nevins is the ruler, an angel and The World Bank. For perhaps a decade, Nevins, president of HBO Documentary Films, has been the most powerful person in the TV documentary business. Receiving a green light for a project from Nevins generally leads to funding; getting word that she intends to run your already made doc on HBO is tantamount to a young comic getting asked by Johnny Carson to appear on The Tonight Show. Nearing 70, Nevins’ legendary passion for docs and doc makers remains. This summer, when HBO’s big ticket series were delayed by the writer’s strike, the Box turned to Nevins for a weekly series. As usual, Nevins’ catholic tastes reigned, as she responded with docs on topics ranging from Heidi Fleiss and Roman Polanski to human trafficking and teen life in Baghdad.

Fast Fact

  • Nevins has produced, exec produced or advocated for more than 500 documentaries while at HBO, and has collected some 70 Emmys and 15 Oscars.

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Lifetime announced “Gift of a Lifetime,” part of the net’s pro-social giveback initiative partnering with charities to identify five women and their families to receive the “gift of a lifetime”

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