President & GM, History

Bennett’s leadership in refining the History brand continues to pay off big time. For the eighth consecutive year, History scored as a top 10 ranked cable network among A25-54, on the merits of ambitious special events such as the re-imagined miniseries “Roots” and series including “Alone,” which reigned as cable’s top nonfiction series on Thursday nights among M25-54. Look for an increase in factual drama and landmark factual events in the coming year, with military drama “Six” and “Knightfall” in the works from A+E Studios. Also under Bennett’s stewardship, FYI saw year-over-year audience increases across key demos in both prime and daytime, with series “Married at First Sight” and “Tiny House Nation” drawing viewers and spin-offs alike. To Bennett, “The best content is not gender specific. The best shows are the ones in which the men and the women inhabit strong, vivid roles.”

What advice would you give your 13-year-old self?

Don’t worry, your History class in school will be useful one day.

Which current programming best reflects the kind of women’s roles you like to see and why?

The best content is not gender specific.  You don’t look at it and say “that’s a show for women” or “that’s a strong female role.”  The best shows are the ones in which the men and the women inhabit strong, vivid roles. Women still need to have their voice heard, more often as showrunners, directors, writers and executives.   More importantly, the industry needs shows created by a diverse mix of women and men in every aspect of production.  A great example is HISTORY’s upcoming drama series “SIX.” While there are strong female characters at the heart of what could be seen as a “male” show, our executive producer and director is a very accomplished female, Lesli Linka Glatter. In Vikings the ‘shield maiden’ Lagertha played by Kathryn Winnick is as fearsome and powerful as the male warriors – and the best at martial arts in real life!

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