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MGM’s Calvert ventures into Back Roads

US production outfit Back Roads Entertainment has appointed a former MGM executive as its VP of development and opened a new headquarters in Austin, Texas.

Bret Calvert

Bret Calvert is joining the firm, reporting to CEO Colby Gaines. He will be charged with overseeing development and creating original formats for broadcast, cable and streaming platforms.

Previously, he was VP of television at MGM under Mark Burnett and Barry Poznick, where he was charged with all aspects of development and production for shows including Beat Shazam (Fox), The World’s Best (CBS), TKO (CBS) and Generation Gap (ABC).

With nearly two decades of television experience, Calvert has a long history across global formats with writing and producing credits includingThe Biggest Loser, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?, Winsanity, Steve Harvey’s Funderdome, Minute to Win It and American Bible Challenge.

Back Roads will relocate key staff to Austin, including manager of development Alexis O’Donnell.

Colby Gaines, executive producer and founder of Back Roads, said: “I was born and raised in Texas, so it’s exciting for me to see how Austin has quickly become a hotbed for talent and creative resources. I’m proud to be part of the city’s narrative as it continues to cement its place as a leading town for entertainment across all platforms.”

Back Roads recently announced an overall coproduction partnership with NBA Hall of Famer, actor, entrepreneur and sports analyst Shaquille O’Neal and his Jersey Legends outfit.

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