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MGM adds Electus, NBCU, 495 trio

US studio Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM) has added a trio of execs from Electus, NBCUniversal International Studios (NBCUIS) and 495 Productions as it bolsters it unscripted division.

Justin Dudek

Justin Dudek has been named senior VP of physical production for unscripted TV at MGM, having joined from Ben Silverman and Howard T Owens’ US prodco Electus, where he was head of production and launched the company’s physical production arm.

Dudek has worked on shows including Running Wild with Bear Grylls for NBC and Netflix’s Flaked. He now reports to Barry Poznick, president of MGM’s unscripted TV arm, and Peter Oillataguerre, president of physical production.

Meanwhile, Zena Van Ackeren has joined MGM as VP of talent and casting for unscripted TV development, reporting to Tricia Biggio, senior VP of unscripted TV.

Zena Van Ackeren

Van Ackeren arrives from NBCUIS, where she was head of the US division of production subsidiary Monkey Kingdom.

Finally, Kitty Gambel has been named VP of unscripted TV development, also reporting to Biggio. She is responsible for developing and selling new shows across network, cable and digital platforms, in addition to overseeing the studio’s courtroom programmes, which include Lauren Lake’s Paternity Court.

Gambel joins after spending seven years as a development executive at US firm 495 Productions, where she developed unscripted docuseries and talkshows including Millionaires for CNBC and Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party for VH1.

Kitty Gambel

Poznick said the additions would help “build on MGM’s solid foundation in order to broaden the scope of our business to provide worldwide audiences with innovative and original unscripted content.”

Earlier this month, MGM and the chairman of its worldwide television group, Mark Burnett, launched a new division focusing on formats and unscripted series.

MGM and Burnett were last year commissioned by streaming giant Amazon to revive global endurance competition format Eco-Challenge with host Bear Grylls.



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