Maura Dunbar is EVP/Chief Content Officer of Odyssey Networks. At Odyssey she develops and produces independent theatrical films, TV series and made-for-television movies.
Maura has over 23 years of extensive television programming experience as a senior level broadcast/cable executive, a creator and producer of original programming and a highly successful media consultant. Her rich and diverse experience has made her a recognized expert in programming strategies, development, packaging and production of original programming with a proven track record of identifying, buying, developing and overseeing production of over 250 television movies and mini-series, as well as an expertise in building a community around programming using new media and marketing platforms.
Previously, she was Senior Vice President of Original Programming and Development for the Hallmark Channel, where she launched the channel’s franchise of original two hour movies with hits such as LOVE COMES SOFTLY (starring Katherine Heigl). Subsequently, Maura was responsible for shepherding ADOPTION, a limited one-hour reality series (13 episodes) about the intense emotional journey of parents building families through adoption, which was a ratings success and received high-profile awards from the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute and the Gladney Foundation. She was also responsible for the development and production of the Hallmark Channels’ two highest rated original mini-series events, JOHNSON COUNTY WARS (starring Burt Reynolds, Luke Perry, and Tom Beringer), and ROUGHING IT (with James Garner and Eric Roberts). The results of her efforts made an immediate impact.
Prior to Hallmark, Maura worked for 16 years as a creative executive in the program development department of ABC Entertainment. During her tenure at the network, she developed more than 300 hours of original made-for two-hour movies and minis and had oversight of such highly rated franchises as ABC SATURDAY MYSTERY (including Columbo, Kojak, and B. L. Stryker) and the ABC SATURDAY FAMILY MOVIE.
As Vice President of mini-series and special projects, Maura distinguished herself for her ability to develop and produce content that achieved both ratings and critical success as well as garnering numerous Emmy nominations and awards, such as STEVEN KING’S THE STAND, THE SHINING, STORM OF THE CENTURY, ARABIAN NIGHTS, ME AND MY SHADOW: THE JUDY GARLAND STORY (with Judy Davis), THE BEAT GOES ON: THE SONNY & CHER STORY and, REAR WINDOW (starring Christopher Reeves).
Beyond her network executive experience, Maura fed her entrepreneurial spirit by maintaining her own programming consulting/production banner, In Promptu Media. Her impressive list of clients included: The Discovery Network, The Learning Channel, Lionsgate and Crown Media Holdings, Inc. She co-created and produced with 44 Blue Productions WHAT SHOULD YOU DO, a one-hour reality series for Lifetime Television (22 episodes), and developed with Wallis Nicita the four-hour miniseries THE LIGHT BEARER for Hallmark Entertainment. Other projects in development included feature films, non-fiction series, documentaries, half hour comedies and hour dramas.