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HBO Documentary President Sheila Nevins Steps Down After 38 Years, 32 Emmys, and Over 1,000 Films

Sheila Nevins has been the face of HBO Documentary Films for nearly four decades.

Sheila Nevins of HBO

Photo by Buchan/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

Sheila Nevins has announced she is stepping down from her role as president of HBO Documentary Films, a position she has held for the last 38 years. The 78-year-old has produced over 1,000 non-fiction films during her time at HBO, earning a record 32 Emmy Awards. Her projects have also earned 26 Oscars and 42 Peabody Awards. She was the recipient of the TV Academy’s lifetime achievement award in 2005.

“There’s something exciting about leaving a job,” Nevins told The New York Times about her departure. “I can’t explain it. I have deprived my life of a life. All I did was work. I was, like, born at HBO and I don’t have to die there. If I stayed any longer, I probably would have died at my desk. I just regret that there’s so little time left.”

Nevins came to HBO in 1979 when she joined the company as the director of documentary programming. She was named VP of documentary programming in 1986 and became the president in 2004. She has won more Emmys than any other individual in history, and is second only to Lorne Michaels with the most nominations of any person ever.

Acclaimed titles released under Nevins’ leadership include Alex Gibney’s Scientology documentary “Going Clear,” as well as “Manhunt: The Inside Story of the Hunt for Bin Laden,” “Cries from Syria,” and “The Final Inch.”

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