Pair of TV vets get Diplomatic

Lewis, Siegal to o'see growing series roster

HOLLYWOOD — Diplomatic, the production company led by Michael Davies (“Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”), has added two new execs to oversee its growing series roster.

Steven Lewis joins Diplomatic as senior vice prexy of production and will oversee all of the shingle’s upcoming projects, including ESPN’s “Two Minute Drill,” A&E’s “Ultimate Reality,” USA Network’s “Smush” and ABC’s “The Runner.”

Andrew Siegal has also been added as vice president of production.

Lewis will be based out of Los Angeles and report to Diplomatic exec VP Matti Leshem, while Siegal will handle East Coast production out of New York and report to Lewis.

Building materials

“Bringing on these guys gives us the right kind of backbone and background to produce in both cities,” Leshem said. “They’ll allow us to grow Diplomatic into the kind of company that Michael envisions it to be.”

Besides the four series already picked up, Diplomatic is pitching new projects including a U.S. version of “Boy Meets Girl,” a U.K. format seen earlier this year on Channel 4. The concept centers on four men and four women who must swap sexes and live like the opposite gender.

“Boy Meets Girl” was produced in the U.K. by Optomen TV (“Two Fat Ladies,” “Naked Chef”), which has a co-production deal in place with Diplomatic. Under their arrangement, Diplomatic works on Optomen projects in the U.S., while Optomen works with Diplomatic in the U.K.

London leadership

Growing out of that relationship, Diplomatic is searching for an exec to handle the company’s British business.

“We will open an office in London in the next year, it’s just a question of when,” Leshem said.

Lewis’ credits include helping found Greystone Communications, where he served for 12 years in a number of capacities, including executive in charge of productions. More recently, he handled original pilots and presentations at AntEye.com.

Lewis also served as an executive producer at Peter Guber’s Mandalay Media Arts film and documentary division, where he worked on projects including Showtime’s “It’s Black Entertainment.”

“We’ve been great friends for five years,” Leshem said of Lewis. “We climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro together. Once you’ve climbed to 19,000 feet with someone, that really affects your perception of them.”

Siegal moved to Diplomatic from MTV, where he co-produced “The Tom Green Show.” He also helped launch MTV’s “FANatic” and “Oddville MTV.” His other credits include stints in “Saturday Night Live’s” film unit and the production team of the syndie talker “The Jon Stewart Show.”

“He’s young, he’s aggressive, he understands production,” Leshem said. “He’s got a lot under his belt.”

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