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MacCurdy was first hired by Warner Bros. Animation in 1979, eventually becoming a vice president and a general manager. In 1983, she left to become an executive for Hanna-Barbera, supervising the production of shows such as Smurfs and The Flintstone Kids.
In 1989, MacCurdy was hired by Warner Bros. Animation to help the studio make a push into original content production for television. She hired several members of the creative team at Hanna-Barbera, including Tom Ruegger, Paul Dini, and later Alan Burnett, to form the creative team of her first Warner production, the Steven Spielberg-executive produced Tiny Toon Adventures, which ran in syndication.
Under MacCurdy's leadership, Warner Bros. Animation experienced a second renaissance, producing very popular children's programming and winning several Emmys. The company's output was expanded to included other successful programming for the FOX Network during the early 1990s such as Taz-Mania, Batman: The Animated Series, and Animaniacs.
In 1995, Warner Bros. launched The WB television network, and made the Warner Bros. Animation shows exclusive to it. New shows produced for The WB's Kids WB block included Superman: The Animated Series, Pinky and the Brain, Freakazoid! Histeria!, Batman Beyond and Pinky, Elmyra, & the Brain. During MacCurdy's tenure, Warner Bros. Animation was also the parent company of Hanna-Barbera following the Time Warner/Turner merger, until it was absorbed into Warner Animation in 2001. MacCurdy resigned as head of Warner Bros. Animation in 2001.
MacCurdy lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, but still frequently visits Los Angeles. She participated in the 2008 San Diego Comic-Con panel on the creation of Tiny Toons, Freakazoid!, and Animaniacs, in San Diego, California.
- Jean MacCurdy at the Internet Movie Database
- Jaime J. Weinman, of Canada's Maclean's, discusses MacCurdy's tenure at Warner Brothers
- John P. McCann on MacCurdy's place in "The Emmy Machine"