Endemol Shine North America's Cris Abrego & Charlie Corwin Take On Wider Roles As Part Of Newly Signed Deals
January 19, 2016 - Cris Abrego and Charlie Corwin have taken on wider roles within global content creator Endemol Shine Group as part of new overall deals with the company, adding oversight of Latin American operations to their current North American responsibilities.
Abrego and Corwin will now serve as Co-Chairmen, Endemol Shine Americas, while continuing in their roles as Co-CEOs of Endemol Shine North America. The two executives, who are based in Los Angeles, report to Sophie Turner Laing, CEO of Endemol Shine Group.
Sophie Turner Laing said: "Alongside strong ratings and new pickups in scripted, non-scripted and digital, Charlie and Cris's first year leading Endemol Shine North America as a combined business has seen significant success in the U.S. Hispanic market and Mexico. This creates a solid foundation for greater collaboration throughout the Americas under their guidance and having them in these expanded roles will help further leverage our strengths across these key markets.”
“Charlie and I feel like we’re building something very special here in North America," Abrego said. "The integration process is behind us, the team is in place and we have a lot of momentum across many of our divisions. And we're now looking forward to working with our colleagues in Latin America to expand upon their successes in the region."
Corwin added, "I'm thrilled to continue working with Cris and our extremely talented team. It's clearly an exciting time in our industry and Endemol Shine is uniquely positioned to excel in this rapidly changing environment both locally and globally. We are focused on offering talent, brands and broadcasters a new studio model for a new paradigm."
Abrego and Corwin were originally named Co-Chairmen & Co-CEOs of Endemol Shine North America in October 2014, as part of the joint venture creating Endemol Shine Group.
Since then, the two executives have overseen the integration of the Endemol USA and Shine America teams, creating new scripted, unscripted and Latino divisions. Over the last year, the company has produced nearly 1000 hours of programming across 30 networks including FOX’s and CBS’s top-rated 2015 summer series “MasterChef” and “Big Brother” and Bravo’s number one series “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.”
The company has recently landed a straight-to-series order for Shine TV format “Hunted” at CBS, as well as a full season pickup for the Jim Carrey-produced dramedy “I’m Dying Up Here” at Showtime. Abrego and Corwin have also overseen the successful launch of two digital networks under the company’s Endemol Beyond USA banner and started a live TV unit that recently produced the second annual “Pitbull’s New Year’s Revolution” for FOX.
In the Hispanic market, Endemol Shine Latino just launched “Gran Hermano” on Telemundo, the first Spanish-language version of “Big Brother” to air in the U.S. and recently produced initial seasons of both “Big Brother” and “MasterChef” in Mexico. Later this year, Endemol Shine Latino will produce its first scripted series “El Vato” for NBCUniverso.
Endemol Shine North America is also now the largest independent producer of unscripted programming in the U.S. with the combined assets of subsidiary production companies Authentic Entertainment, Original Media, True Entertainment and 51 Minds. Additionally, Ryan Seacrest Productions joined Endemol Shine North America’s team of unscripted subsidiary production companies at the start of the year.
Other hits in the unscripted space include “MasterChef Junior,” “The Biggest Loser,” “Flipping Out,” “T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle,” “Swamp People,” “Ink Master,” “Restaurant Startup” and upcoming series “The Real Housewives of the Potomac” (Bravo) and “Billion Dollar Buyer” (CNBC). Endemol Shine also produces the Emmy Award-winning daytime syndicated series “Steve Harvey.”
Scripted division Endemol Shine Studios additionally produces critically acclaimed series such as AMC’s “Hell on Wheels,” DirecTV’s “Kingdom” and has an extensive development slate, which includes “Utopia” at HBO.
Endemol Beyond USA has quickly emerged as a key player in the North American digital arena, having launched two new digital-first networks this past year including global lifestyle network ICON with digital sensation Michelle Phan. Endemol Beyond USA also debuted new eSports and gaming network SMASHER in October and created a new ad sales team that secured partnerships with major brands such as Verizon and Pizza Hut.
As previously announced, a new central hub is being established this year within Endemol Shine Latino, which will connect and oversee all of Endemol Shine Group’s businesses throughout Latin America. This will be in addition to its current footprint across Hispanic U.S. and Mexico and will be led by Laurens Drillich as President of Endemol Shine Latino. Drillich will be based in Miami and report to Abrego and Corwin.
Endemol Shine Group is already the largest independent producer in Latin America with production bases in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Peru, as well as regional sales operations serving all other territories in Central and South America.
Both Abrego and Corwin took leadership of Endemol’s North American business in October 2013, after selling their respective production companies to the Group.
The former co-founder and CEO of 51 Minds Entertainment (“Flavor of Love”), Abrego is one of the leading creators and producers of reality television in the U.S., recognized globally for pioneering a new genre of unscripted programming with the breakout celeb-reality series “The Surreal Life.”
Abrego, who sold 51 Minds Entertainment to Endemol in 2008, helped create the celeb-reality genre with the 2003 launch of “The Surreal Life” on The WB Network. He followed the success of “The Surreal Life” with a string of celeb-reality series for VH-1, including “Flavor of Love,” "Rock of Love with Bret Michaels" and numerous other series. At its height, 51 Minds Entertainment was producing more than 150 hours of programming a year for VH1 alone.
Abrego’s other TV credits include “Same Name” (CBS), “Whodunnit” (ABC) and “Does Someone Have To Go” (FOX). Abrego began his career at Bunim/Murray, where he worked on hit series such as "The Real World" and "Road Rules."
Corwin, an award-winning film and TV producer, previously led the production company Original Media as its CEO and co-founder. Endemol acquired a majority stake in Original Media in November 2007, after which Corwin remained CEO and continued to grow the business.
While there, Corwin oversaw the development of some of the U.S.'s most successful TV series and formats, as well as critically acclaimed box office successes.
In television, Corwin is widely considered an innovator for his creation of subculture specific docu-series such as "Miami Ink” (TLC) and its popular spinoffs, "LA Ink" and "NY Ink," as well as the breakout successes "Swamp People” (History) and “Storm Chasers” (Discovery).
Along with Kevin Smith, Corwin co-created “Comic Book Men" (AMC), about fan-boy culture and also co-created and executive produced "The Rachel Zoe Project” (Bravo). In 2009, he co-created the scripted drama “The Philanthropist” for NBC with Tom Fontana and Jim Juvonen.
Corwin has produced numerous feature films that have been nominated for a total of 14 Spirit Awards, 3 Golden Globes, and 2 Academy Awards. Among them, “The Squid and the Whale,” “Half Nelson,” “A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints,” “August,” “Twelve” and “Sunlight Jr.”
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