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Mattel hires Disney, Apple alum Michelle Mendelovitz to lead TV studio 

Toy giant Mattel has hired former Disney, Apple and Sony executive Michelle Mendelovitz as head of Mattel Television Studios.

Michelle Mendelovitz

In her new post, Mendelovitz will oversee development, production and distribution of Mattel’s episodic content across both broadcast and streaming. She will report to Mattel’s chief franchise officer Josh Silverman.

She was previously head of drama development at Disney’s 20th Television, from  2020 until 2022, and later served as an executive producer at Hillary and Chelsea Clinton’s HiddenLight Productions, where she oversaw development on several projects.

Before joining 20th Television in 2020, Mendelovitz was a senior creative executive for scripted and unscripted programming at Apple and prior to that was the VP of scripted programming (drama and comedy) at Sony Pictures Television.

Mattel Television Studios is the toymaker’s production and distribution arm and is behind TV adaptations of popular intellectual property such as Barbie, Thomas & Friends, Hot Wheels, Fireman Sam, Polly Pocket, Barney, Masters of the Universe, Monster High and Pictionary. The TV studio has debuted 12 series and specials in 2023.

Mattel is riding a wave of momentum following the Barbie movie, which grossed around US$1.4bn (£1.1bn) at the global box office this year, and has plans to parlay that success into the expansion of other franchises within its portfolio.

Mattel chairman and CEO Ynon Kreiz said: “Michelle is a powerful creative leader with a wealth of experience working with top studios and creators to make innovative, quality content across genres and platforms.

“We are excited for her to join at a time of such momentum for the company, and for the important role she will play in developing stories that resonate in culture and growing Mattel’s global fan base.”

Mendelovitz added: “Taking that bold spirit to speak to themes that impact people’s worlds, while simultaneously entertaining audiences of all ages, is what we are focused on as we grow Mattel Television Studios into an inspiring storytelling home for best-in-class creators.”


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