Bunim/Murray Productions Bolsters Development & Current Programming Teams
June 6, 2022 - Bunim/Murray Productions, a division of Banijay Americas, has bolstered its development and current programming teams, including naming both veteran producers Gayani Wanigaratne and Steve Ezell, Senior Vice President, Development & Current, it was announced today by Bunim/Murray President Julie Pizzi.
Bunim/Murray, which recently launched “Lizzo’s Watch Out For The Big Girrrls” on Amazon Prime, “Don’t Forget The Lyrics” on FOX and is bringing its hit franchise “The Challenge” to CBS for the first time this summer, has promoted three internal executives and added four new members to its development and current production ranks.
In addition to Wanigaratne and Ezell, Michael Driscoll and Nicholette Dixon have both been named Vice President, Development, Monique Berduo has joined the studio as Director, Development, Nikki Cameron has been promoted to Director of Development and Lauryn McCollum will serve as a development associate.
“We are committed to investing in our development and current programming teams as our creative focus has continued to evolve,” says Pizzi. “We are thrilled to expand our in-house expertise to help us further grow our content creation efforts.”
Added Rupert Dobson, EVP, Development at Bunim/Murray, “We are really excited to welcome a group of talented, creative new members to the team, along with elevating our incredible in-house execs. It’s a truly multi-faceted team that puts BMP in a great position for the future.”
Wanigaratne, who is a BAFTA award-winning producer originally from the UK, joins Bunim/Murray as SVP, Development and Current. Since moving to LA in 2019, she has worked as a development consultant and Co-Executive Producer for Universal Television Alternative Studios.
Previously, she produced a variety of unscripted hits in the UK, including “Love Island,” “Britain’s Got Talent,” “The X-Factor,” “I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here” and “This Morning.” Wanigaratne also worked as a commissioning executive for ITV Network, where she developed and executed various unscripted formats and live events.
Having initially joined Bunim/Murray as an intern on “The Real World” in 2003, Ezell has also been promoted to SVP, Development and Current. Ezell has served as an executive producer on numerous BMP series, including “Bad Girls Club” for Oxygen and six seasons of the studio’s hit series “Ball In the Family” for Facebook Watch. Ezell spent the first half of his career serving as Director of Photography for over 30 different projects across a variety of networks.
Dixon, who has been named Vice President of Development, joins Bunim/Murray from GRB Studios, where she was previously Vice President of Development, as well.
At GRB Studios, Dixon worked on the upcoming A&E series “Digital Additiction.”
Prior to that role, Dixon was on the development team at Electus (now Propagate), where she worked on such series as CNBC’s “Cash Pad” and FYI’s “Working the Room.”
Driscoll, who has also been named Vice President of Development, has been with BMP since 2018. He has sold projects to Hulu, HBOMax, Discovery, Travel, and Lifetime, as well as helped develop shows such as MTV’s “Lindsay Lohan’s Beach Club” and Amazon Prime’s “Lizzo’s Watch Out For The Big Girrrls.” Prior to joining BMP, he worked at Twentieth Television, formerly Twentieth Century Fox Television, and Sundance Institute.
Berduo, who joins Bunim/Murray as Director of Development, previously worked in development for several ITV America-owned studios, most recently Sirens Media. During her time at Sirens Media, she helped develop such series as “Honestly Loren” for Snapchat, “Lost Resort” for TBS, “Nikita Unfiltered” for Snapchat and “The Wedding Coach” for Netflix. Before Sirens Media, Berduo was on the development teams for ITV Entertainment and Gurney Productions.
Cameron, who has been promoted to Director of Development, previously worked in production and operations at NBCUniversal’s Bravo, E! and Oxygen networks. During her time at NBCUniversal, Cameron worked on such series as “The Real Housewives” franchise, “Summer House,” “Total Bellas” and “Botched.” She began her career in Entertainment PR, working with TV & film clients such as WEtv, Universal Pictures, Lionsgate, Fox News and MSNBC.
And McCollum, who has joined BMP to serve as a Development Associate, previously served as a coordinating producer for a production agency, managing a network of creatives and liaising between execs and production companies and brands. She also formerly worked at “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” Adobe Creative Club Network and CELEB magazine.
About Bunim/Murray Productions
Bunim/Murray Productions (BMP) is the leading producer of innovative entertainment content. The Emmy Award-winning company is widely credited with creating the reality television genre with its hit series The Real World, which had moved to Facebook after 32 seasons on MTV. BMP continued to innovate with the first reality game show, Road Rules (MTV), in 1995; the first reality sitcom, The Simple Life (E!), in 2003; and the first reality soap opera, Starting Over, in 2003. BMP’s current programming includes Total Bellas (E!), The Challenge (MTV), Born This Way (A&E), Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project (Oxygen), Ball in the Family (Facebook Watch), Endless (Snapchat), Miz and Mrs. (USA Network), Emily’s Wonder Lab (Netflix) The Challenge All-Stars (Paramount +), Don’t Forget The Lyrics (FOX) and Lizzo’s Watch Out For The Big Grrrls (Amazon). BMP, through BMP Films, has also produced Transhood (HBO) They Call Us Monsters (PBS), Valentine Road (HBO), Pedro (MTV) and the Emmy Award-winning Autism: The Musical , and Autism: The Sequel (HBO). Based in Glendale, CA, the company was founded in 1987 by Jonathan Murray and the late Mary-Ellis Bunim, who were inducted into the Television Academy’s Hall of Fame in 2012. The company joined Banijay Group in 2010.