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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.”

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