Pollak, who has served as president of Electus International since 2012, will now oversee the global rollout of Electus’ scripted and unscripted content, including development, production and current programming, as well as international co-productions and deficit-financing of scripted projects. He also will continue to lead Electus International, the company’s distribution business that includes more than 4,000 hours of content sold to over 220 countries around the world. He will report to Electus CEO Chris Grant.
Before joining Electus in 2012, Pollak was executive vice president and head of worldwide sales at Shine International, managing global sales and distribution of programming from across the Shine Group companies, and driving sales for formats like “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?,” “The Biggest Loser,” “American Gladiators,” “The Moment of Truth,” and “MasterChef.” Pollak and Grant, then the head of Shine International, were integral to securing key executive talent to launch Shine’s global production companies. Before that, Pollak was senior vice president of international distribution and creative affairs at Reveille, the production and distribution company founded by Ben Silverman, that focused on exploiting worldwide intellectual property rights through scripted and alternative television formats. There, he also worked for Grant and helped launch Reveille International in fall 2003.
In addition, Max Levenson has been promoted to vice president of current and creative development, in charge of development and production of the company’s unscripted and branded content across multiple platforms. He and his team have developed projects for ABC, Fox , NBC, The CW, CMT, CNBC, Discovery, E!, Food Network, FYI, GSN, Lifetime, Starz and TBS, and have over a dozen titles currently in development at various broadcast, cable and digital newtorks. He will report to Pollak. Prior to Electus, Levenson worked at Authentic Entertainment, assisting on series including “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,” “Toddlers & Tiaras,” and “Flipping Out.”
“John and I go back more than 15 years, and to have seen up close his meteoric rise in this industry has been so gratifying,” Grant said. “He has that rare combination of intelligence, drive, determination and hard work, alongside a singular ability to be nimble and find solutions when they’re needed. Those qualities are in the DNA of Electus, which Max Levenson also embodies, proving beyond measure his value to the creative process for producers and buyers, especially impressive in this mercurial marketplace. All of us at Electus congratulate both John and Max on their new roles which are so well deserved.”
Pollak also has acquired two international formats for Electus. “Last Resort,” from Nine Network Australia, follows couples who will be sent to an island retreat where they will undertake a series of tasks and challenges in a fight to save their relationship. With the help of a psychologist and a relationship coach, the couples must decide, at the end of one month, if they will exchange rings and stay together forever or if it’s time to pull the plug. The second format is “The Ranch,” an adaptation of the Nice format “The Farm,” distributed by DRG. The series takes anybody who has ever dreamed of the simple country life, back to basics, as a group of men and women are thrown together to survive as farmers without the luxuries most take for granted. Both series are in development at Electus with plans to begin pitching next month.