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Toby Gorman to Head Universal Television Alternative Studio

Universal Television Alternative Studio has named producer and executive Toby Gorman as its new president, overseeing development, domestic sales strategy and creative affairs at the unscripted and alternative-formats studio.

Most recently the interim CEO of Magical Elves, Gorman succeeds Meredith Ahr, who last fall was upped to president of NBC Entertainment’s alternative and reality group. Gorman, who will report to Ahr, will also work closely with production, casting, business affairs and international commercial development for the Universal TV Alternative Studio.

Founded in 2016, the young studio — which creates, develops and produces unscripted and alternative-format original series — is just entering its third year of existence, and is responsible for competition series such as “Songland” and “Bring the Funny,” as well as LeBron James-produced game show “The Wall” and Jane Lynch-hosted “Hollywood Game Night.”

“We have an incredibly ambitious growth plan for Universal Television Alternative Studio, and Toby is exactly who we want at the helm during this defining time,” said Ahr in a release. “I have witnessed him in many roles over the years, and time and again he has proven to be a precise developer, a creative producer, and a sharp executive.  As the breadth of our content and our partnerships throughout the industry continue to expand, Toby’s deep expertise, coupled with the equally important fact that he is one of the most respected executives in the field, make him the perfect fit to lead the studio into its next chapter.”

While holding the top post at Magical Elves, Gorman also served as president of entertainment at A. Smith & Co. Productions. Among the shows he has executive produced are the reboot of National Geographic’s “Brain Games,” Fox’s “Mental Samurai,” NBC’s “The Titan Games” and Netflix’s “Death by Magic.”

Prior to that, he served as executive vice president of alternative programming at FremantleMedia North America, where he developed and launched entertainment programming and formats for global markets, including revivals of “To Tell the Truth” and “Match Game.” Gorman was co-executive producer and showrunner of NBC’s “Hollywood Game Night” and “The Winner Is,” and executive produced ABC’s “Take Me Out” and NBC’s “Celebrity Family Feud,” among other series. His work has earned him two shared Emmy nominations for reality-competition program.

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