You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

MGM Television Expands Unscripted Team With Three Hires

Metro Goldwyn Mayer has announced three additions to its unscripted television team. It is currently led by Barry Poznick, president of the division and Mark Burnett, chairman of MGM’s Worldwide Television Group (“Survivor,” “The Voice”).

Justin Dudek has joined MGM as senior VP of physical production, Zena Van Ackeren has onboarded as VP of talent and casting, and Kitty Gambel has joined as vice president of the unscripted television team. The changes are part of MGM Television’s efforts to grow unscripted content across all platforms.

“We are thrilled to welcome Justin, Zena and Kitty to the MGM Television team, and I look forward to working with them as we continue to build on MGM’s solid foundation in order to broaden the scope of our business to provide worldwide audiences with innovative and original unscripted content,” said Poznick.

Dudek will report to Poznick and Peter Oillataguerre, president of physical production. In his role, Dudek will oversee all aspects of physical productions for the studio’s unscripted television titles. Dudek joins MGM from Electus, where he served as head of production and launched the company’s physical production arm. Dudek was responsible for the oversight of all productions at Electus, including “Running Wild with Bear Grylls” on NBC, Netflix’s “Flaked,” and “Terry Crews Saves Christmas.”

Van Ackeren will report to Tricia Biggio, the senior VP of unscripted television. In her role, Van Ackeren will oversee talent and casting for the studio’s unscripted television department. Van Ackeren has 20 years of experience in the industry and joins MGM from NBCUniversal International Studios where she previously served as head of the U.S. division of Monkey Kingdom. Prior to that, Van Ackeren worked at CMT/Viacom as VP of talent development, and Shed Media (US) as head of casting for series and development, overseeing their shows on ABC, CBS, Lifetime and USA.

Gambel will also report to Biggio. She will be responsible for developing and selling new shows across network, cable, and digital platforms, in addition to overseeing the studio’s court shows, which include “Lauren Lake’s Paternity Court,” “Couple’s Court with the Cutlers,” and the upcoming series, “Personal Injury Court.” Prior to joining MGM, Gambel served as a development executive at 495 Productions for over seven years, where she developed unscripted docu-series and talk shows, including “The Real” and “Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party.”

Popular on Variety

More Biz

  • Harvey Weinstein

    Weinstein Can Get a Fair Trial in Manhattan, Says D.A.

    The Manhattan District Attorney’s office argued on Friday that Harvey Weinstein can get a fair trial in Manhattan, and blamed the producer’s defense team for much of the pre-trial publicity in the case. Weinstein’s attorneys have asked an appellate court to transfer the case — which is set to begin on Sept. 9 — to [...]

  • Leonardo DiCaprio Madonna

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Madonna Call for Action on Amazon Wildfires

    As wildfires rage at an alarming rate in Brazil’s Amazon rain forest, celebrities are using their platforms to bring awareness to the deforestation’s impact and to call for action. In the past week, stars like Leonardo DiCaprio, Madonna, Cara Delevingne and Ariana Grande have taken to Instagram to express their frustration with the lack of [...]

  • 'The Durrells' TV Show

    Greece Sweetens Production Incentives as Struggling Country's Economy Rebounds

    It’s taken the better part of a decade for Greece to show signs of recovery from the crippling crisis that almost pushed it out of the Eurozone. Now, with the economy slowly on the mend, the government is doubling down on efforts to jump-start the local film industry, giving a dramatic overhaul to the incentive [...]

  • Warner Music Group Partners With Audiomack

    Warner Music Group Partners With Audiomack

    Warner Music Group announced it has entered a partnership with the music streaming and discovery service Audiomack, marking the platform’s first licensing deal with a major label. According to the announcement, the two companies will work together on content concepts and explore ways to break emerging artists, connecting music fans with rising talent before they [...]

  • Scooter Braun Congratulates Taylor Swift on

    Scooter Braun Congratulates Taylor Swift on ‘Brilliant’ Album and Campaign

    Two days after Taylor Swift fired off the latest salvo in her battle with Scooter Braun, the manager congratulated the singer on the campaign around her “brilliant” new album, “Lover,” which arrived last night. The message came after Swift said she will be re-recording songs from her first six albums, which are now owned by [...]

  • David Koch Obit

    David Koch, Libertarian Activist and Billionaire Philanthropist, Dies at 79

    David Koch, brother of Charles Koch and one of the owners of Koch Industries, the second-largest private company in the U.S., has died at 79. According to the New York Times, Charles Koch announced the news of his brother’s death in a statement. Though he did not attribute to David’s death to a particular cause, [...]

  • Beverly Hills Realtor Accused of Stealing

    Beverly Hills Realtor Accused of Stealing From Usher, Adam Lambert

    A Beverly Hills real estate agent has been arrested on charges of stealing from the homes of celebrities, including Usher, Adam Lambert and “Real Housewives” star Dorit Kemsley. Jason Emil Yaselli, 32, is accused of encouraging an accomplice, Benjamin Ackerman, to enter homes during open houses in order to steal from them. Ackerman allegedly sold [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content