EXCLUSIVE: Mina Lefevre, who was Head of Development and Programming at Meta, is departing Facebook’s parent company.
Lefevre, who was formerly EVP and Head of Scripted at MTV, is exiting as part of the latest round of layoffs at the Mark Zuckerberg-run company, which has seen more than 20,000 employees leave.
The departure comes amid a pivot for Facebook, which already had scaled back its original programming efforts since the days of scripted series such as Elizabeth Olsen-fronted Sorry For Your Loss and Sacred Lies, shepherded by Lefevre.
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None of the remaining FB Watch Originals, most notably Red Table Talk, are coming back for new seasons as the company is getting out of that business, shifting its focus on creating VR experiences in Meta Horizon Worlds that can also be deployed across Facebook, Instagram and Messenger. FB Watch remains as video player for such content.
The buzzy Red Table Talk with Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith and Adrienne Banfield-Norris, which also spawned spinoff Red Table Talk: The Estefans, was the last remaining FB Watch original. It had completed its original order and will not be coming back; series producer Westbrook, is currently looking for a new home.
In addition to the Red Table Talk franchise, Facebook unscripted/talk original series launched under Lefevre also included Steve on Watch with Steve Harvey, Piece of Mind with Taraji with Taraji P. Henson, a reboot of the reality hit MTV’s The Real World, 9 Months with Courteney Cox, Unfiltered: Paris Jackson, The Biebers on Watch and Tom vs. Time with Tom Brady.
She also developed youth skewing series for Messenger’s Watch Together, including Cardi Tries with Cardi B and Post Malone’s Celebrity World Pong League as well as social media show featuring the likes of Sway House, Collab Crib and Shluv Family for Instagram.
On the scripted side, in addition to Sorry For Your Loss and Sacred Lies and its spinoff Sacred Lies: The Singing Bones, Lefevre developed an adaptation of podcast Limetown with Jessica Biel and Stanley Tucci.
In pulling away from originals, Meta is following fellow tech giant Google, whose YouTube division did the same last year, refocusing its focus on user-generated content.
At MTV, which she left to join Facebook in 2017, Lefevre was responsible for series such as Awkward, Faking It, Scream, Finding Carter and The Shannara Chronicles. Prior to that, she served as VP, Development & Programming at ABC Family, and was responsible for series such as Pretty Little Liars, The Fosters and Melissa & Joey.
Examples of the type of original specials Meta is leaning into going forward include The Notorious B.I.G. Sky’s The Limit: A VR Concert Experience in celebration of Biggie’s 50th birthday, The Shaq’tacular Spectacular, a New Year’s Eve Countdown Special hosted by Shaquille O’Neal with special guest performances from Cardi B and more, Meta’s first VR comedy special with comedians like Pete Holmes and Nikki Glaser as well as Eli Roth horror Halloween and Valentine’s Day specials.
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