Cris Abrego, Chairman, Endemol Shine Americas and CEO, Endemol Shine North America
Cris Abrego was named CEO, Endemol Shine North America and Chairman, Endemol Shine Americas, in November 2016.
Abrego oversees both the North American and Latin American divisions of Endemol Shine Group, the global independent content creator, producer and distributor, with a diverse portfolio of companies that are behind some of the most prominent hit television formats and series in the world.
He originally joined Endemol Shine North America in October 2014, as Co-CEO and added oversight of the company’s Latin American operations in January 2016, as Co-Chairman, Endemol Shine Americas.
The former co-founder and chief executive of Endemol Shine-owned 51 Minds Entertainment, 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 oversees all of Endemol Shine North America’s programming, including hits such as “Big Brother” (CBS), “MasterChef” (FOX), “Fear Factor” (MTV), “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” “Below Deck” (Bravo), “MasterChef Latino” (Telemundo), “Mira Quién Baila” (Univision) “Ink Master” (Paramount Network) and “Best.Cover.Ever.” (YouTube), as well as the upcoming return of “Trading Spaces” (TLC). Endemol Shine North America is also home to a portfolio of industry-leading subsidiary production companies including Authentic Entertainment, Truly Original and 51 Minds Entertainment.
Additionally, Abrego has oversight of Endemol Shine Latino, which oversees all Spanish-language sales and development in both the U.S. and Mexico, as well as all Spanish and Portuguese-language operations across Latin America. Abrego recently led the launch of Endemol Shine Boomdog, the division’s new studio producing original content for both the U.S. Hispanic and Mexican markets.
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 began his career at Bunim/Murray, where he worked in production on “The Real World” and “Road Rules.” He grew up in El Monte, California and has a degree from Cal State University Fullerton, where he was a wrestler. He resides in Los Angeles, California with his wife and three children. Abrego recently released his first book, “Make It Reality: Create Your Opportunity, Own Your Success.”