Company produced 'Don't Forget the Lyrics,' 'Wife Swap'

RDF Media USA CEO Chris Coelen has been captivated by the stories of real people for as long as he can remember.

“They live in the same world we do, so their stories become more relatable and graspable than fiction,” says Coelen.

So it’s no surprise that Coelen’s company has sold and/or produced more than 30 series like “Don’t Forget the Lyrics” and “Wife Swap” that feature real people.

Coelen came to the job having already helped launch or package more than 60 programs (both scripted and nonscripted) for network, cable and syndication as a partner at UTA. Coelen also founded the agency’s alternative TV department in 2001, which had its hand in shows like “Supernanny” and “Surreal Life.” Jessica Simpson and Ryan Seacrest were among his clients.

After bringing dozens of reality programs to air, Coelen still loves the unpredictability of it.

“I continue to be just as surprised as anyone by what happens,” he says.

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