The Mt. Rushmore of reality TV mavens


NigellythgoeYes, that was Mark Itkin walking around the corridors of CAA Thursday night. But no, the William Morris Agency’s dean of unscripted programming isn’t defecting.

Itkin made a trip to what he called “enemy territory” in order to appear on a CAA/BAFTA-sponsored panel dubbed “Another British Invasion.” Powwow brought together six of the biggest names in the reality biz, ostensibly to discuss the past and future of Blighty-produced TV in the States.

Night actually turned into a broader discussion encompassing the history of the biz and the challenges it faces, with “American Idol” showrunner Nigel Lythgoe (pictured left) moderating a lively hourlong-plus conversation.

Panel also included CAA reality chief Michael Camacho, unscripted superlawyer Jeanne Newman, Fox alternative prexy Mike Darnell, CBS reality guru Ghen Maynard and Lifetime supremo Andrea Wong (who until recently headed up unscripted programming for ABC).

Group of Six repped a sort of Mt. Rushmore of the modern reality age, collectively repping some sort of involvement in just about every major unscripted skein since “The Real World” kicked off the alternative Jeannenewman4 boom.

Itkin talked about putting together the deal for “Real World” (MTV wanted a soap but didn’t have the coin to pay for actors), while Newman (pictured right)outlined how she got all the major nets to bid on “Big Brother.”

“We had a true bidding war, not like the ones we make up,” Newman quipped.

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