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‘Punk’d’ Creator Jason Goldberg to Head Unscripted TV at STX Entertainment

“Punk’d” creator Jason Goldberg, a reality TV veteran and longtime producing partner of Ashton Kutcher, has signed on to head unscripted and alternative programming for STX Entertainment.

The hire marks the latest expansion for the fast-growing STX film and TV venture, launched in 2014 by producer Robert Simonds with backing from TPG, China’s Hony Capital and Gig Pritzker’s DNS Capital.

Goldberg has quietly been working with the STX team and has set an initial slate of 12 projects, including some in China and other Asian territories. STX Non-Scripted will focus on projects for the U.S., China and India with an emphasis on formats that can travel easily across borders.

“We strategically built STX to capitalize on today’s evolved media landscape. Integrating our operations horizontally eliminates traditional creative barriers so that content ideation and development is centered on reaching and engaging audiences in the most compelling way,” said Simonds, chairman-CEO of STX Entertainment. “Our unique, flexible approach to development will drive creation of content that meets the needs of growing worldwide audiences across platforms.”

Goldberg will report to STX president Sophie Watts. The company is active in scripted TV but as yet does not have an overall head of television.

“We’re thrilled to add Jason to the STX team as we continue to expand our global TV, film and digital capabilities,” Watts said. “That STX Non-Scripted has already sold 12 shows, including projects in China, is an indicator of the global opportunity we see ahead of us.”

Goldberg was partnered with Ashton Kutcher from 2000 to 2014 in the Katalyst Media banner, home to MTV’s “Punk’d” and WB Network’s “Beauty and the Geek,” among many other shows.

“STX has built an innovative company that embraces both established and emerging global platforms with a fantastic opportunity for content development,” said Goldberg.  “I look forward to finding additional and new ways for STX to partner with talent and brands to reach fans on a global scale.”

Projects under way include a series “Thank You For Your Love” that is expected to air in China later this year on one of the nation’s largest broadcasters. The series is described as a celebrity-focused format that will involve major stars in China. STX is working with XG Entertainment on the Mandarin-language show that is now in production.

Stateside, STX is has development pacts for projects with NBC, CW, Food Network, Syfy, Oxygen, History and Freeform, the company said.

Under the direction of Goldberg and Kutcher, Katalyst was an early entrant into non-scripted TV and digital content, notably in the area of branded content for blue-chip advertisers including Pepsi, Intel and and Google. The company during its run produced some 30 TV series and a handful of feature films including the Kutcher starrers “The Butterfly Effect” and “Guess Who?”

Katalyst was sold to Prime Capital in 2014. Goldberg had been working on a hybrid scripted-reality film project with STX before signing on to run the division.

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