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Leftfield Pictures co-president Gretchen Palek to lead unscripted at Blumhouse

ITV America executive Gretchen Palek is leaving from the group’s Leftfield Pictures, where she served as co-president, to join Blumhouse Television as head of alternative.

Gretchen Palek

Palek’s move comes after Blumhouse TV agreed a multi-year overall deal with ITV America for unscripted TV. Under that pact, announced in June, Blumhouse has a dedicated team working in collaboration with ITV America to create a new slate of non-fiction projects.

As part of what the companies call a “uniquely collaborative arrangement,” Palek will be charged with spearheading Blumhouse TV’s unscripted expansion and “developing a new slate of projects that meld the prestigious and provocative Blumhouse brand with non-fiction genres and formats.”

To do this, she will continue to collaborate with her former colleagues at ITV America. She will report to Blumhouse TV president Chris McCumber.

Leftfield Pictures is one of six production labels under the ITV America banner, which is part of UK-based ITV Studios. The others are ITV Entertainment, Sirens Media, Thinkfactory Media, High Noon Entertainment and Good Caper Content.

“This is one of those rare scenarios where the planets just aligned. With our new unscripted pact, Gretchen can hit the ground running, leading the stellar alternative team at Blumhouse into an exciting new chapter while continuing to collaborate with the group at ITV America, where she’s been a respected creative. It’s a seamless transition for all of us,” said McCumber and ITV America CEO David George in a joint statement.

During her time at US-based Leftfield Pictures, Palek oversaw development and production across the company’s slate, including reality shows Alone and Pawn Stars for History, ESPN’s award-winning 30 for 30: Year of the Scab, NatGeo’s unprecedented Brain Surgery Live and HGTV’s upcoming Table Wars with Martha Stewart.

Prior to Leftfield, she was senior VP of casting and talent for ITV America and working on other projects across the production group. Before joining ITV, she was a casting and talent exec at Discovery Channel.

Blumhouse TV is a division of Jason Blum-led studio Blumhouse. Blumhouse has produced more than 150 movies and series, with its theatrical efforts grossing over US$4.8bn at the global box office.

The company has produced film franchises including Halloween, Paranormal Activity and The Purge, as well as Leigh Whannell’s The Invisible Man, Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman and Jordan Peele’s Get Out. The TV division is focused in horror programming and has more recently expanded beyond genre with scripted and unscripted series and documentaries.


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