Susanne Daniels, former chief of programming at the old WB, has been tapped to run the great programming machine at MTV. One can advisedly, cautiously, tentatively laud this appointment as a very good omen for MTV -- which has been riding on the fumes of "Jersey Shore" for possibly a bit too long.
Daniels was (and presumably still is) a talented talent magnet who knew how to craft, or at least program, good, compulsively watchable series like "Smallville" and "Dawson's Creek." "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," a TV classic, and minor classic, "Gilmore Girls," also aired on her watch. MTV overlord Van Toffler said in a statement suffused with both hyperbole and truth:
“Susanne’s delivered more breakthrough pop culture hits in one decade than most producers do in their entire lifetimes. Very few people have the talent and instincts to consistently develop shows that connect with young audiences, but Susanne has thankfully kept in perfect touch with her juvenile side and we’re extremely lucky she will now be joining our restless, creative family here at MTV.”
Meanwhile, she replaces David Janollari, who once had his own good run at the WB and was a longtime production colleague of Bob Greenblatt, who now runs NBC Entertainment. The press release grimly noted that he had decided "not to renew his contract." Janollari had one solid hit during his two-year tenure ("Teen Wolf") but also slotted the not-quite-a-fiasco-but-still-bad "Skins."