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Cris Abrego To Lead Endemol Shine North America And Endemol Shine Americas

November 3, 2016 - Global content creator, producer and distributor Endemol Shine Group, today announced that Cris Abrego will take sole leadership of the company’s businesses across the U.S. and Latin America as CEO of Endemol Shine North America and Chairman of Endemol Shine Americas.

Charlie Corwin, who has served alongside Abrego as co-CEO and co-chairman, is leaving the company later this month. Corwin will continue to serve as an executive producer on several Endemol Shine Studios scripted projects, including the previously announced drama series adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s “The Talented Mr. Ripley” by “Luther” creator Neil Cross.

Endemol Shine Group CEO Sophie Turner Laing stated, “I want to say a huge thank you to Charlie for the role he’s played with Cris in leading Endemol Shine North America.  His energy and humour will be much missed and he will be leaving us with our very best wishes for the future.  Going forward, our U.S. and Latin American business is in brilliant hands with Cris at the helm of an outstandingly talented team in all areas. The business is ideally placed to build on this terrific momentum and enter an accelerated phase of growth.” 

Abrego added, “I am honored to be leading the Endemol Shine teams in both North America and Latin America, where we have a lot of momentum across all facets of our business and some very promising new series set to launch in the coming months. Clearly we are all going to miss Charlie, who has been a great partner since we first joined the company together and he’s played an integral role in bringing together the tremendous leadership team we now have in place.”

Corwin said, “I’ve been very fortunate to have worked alongside some of the most talented, creative people in our industry at Endemol Shine over these last three years. And I know that I’m leaving our teams here in North America and across Latin America in great hands with Cris Abrego, who is a leader in every sense of the word.”

Abrego and Corwin were originally named co-CEO’s of Endemol Shine North America in October 2014. Both added oversight of the company’s Latin America division in January 2016, as they were named co-chairmen, Endemol Shine Americas.  

Both Abrego and Corwin joined the company’s North American business after selling their respective production companies to Endemol. The two were initially named co-chairmen and co-CEOs of Endemol North America in October 2013.

Under Abrego and Corwin, Endemol Shine North America has enjoyed a successful run across its unscripted, scripted, digital and Latino divisions. Endemol Shine North America is now one of the largest producers of unscripted programming in the U.S. with the combined assets of subsidiary production companies Authentic Entertainment, Original Media, True Entertainment and 51 Minds. In addition, Endemol Shine North America has a strategic partnership with Ryan Seacrest Productions.

Endemol Shine North America’s unscripted division, led by Eden Gaha, includes such hit series as “Big Brother,” “MasterChef” and “MasterChef Junior,” “The Biggest Loser,” “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” “The Real Housewives of the Potomac,” “Flipping Out” “T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle,” “Swamp People,” “Billion Dollar Buyer” and the upcoming series “Hunted” (CBS) “Superhuman” (FOX) and “Page Six TV” (Syndicated). The company also produces Emmy Award-winning daytime series “Steve Harvey” and the annual live “Pitbull’s New Year’s Revolution” for FOX.

Scripted unit Endemol Shine Studios, led by Sharon Hall, recently announced a development deal with Guy Ritchie and Lionel Wigram, is adapting “The Talented Mr. Ripley” for television with Neil Cross (“Luther”), renewed critically acclaimed series “Kingdom” (AT&T Audience Network) for a third season and is set to launch “I’m Dying Up Here” at Showtime.

Digital division Endemol Shine Beyond USA, led by Bonnie Pan, recently announced an exclusive production partnership with Mashable and the launch of original series “Capturing Everest” with Sports Illustrated, the first-ever top-to-bottom climb of Mt. Everest in VR. Endemol Shine Beyond is also behind lifestyle network ICON with Michelle Phan and is one of the top producers of original content on the web, including the hit global eSports series “Legends of Gaming.”

Laurens Drillich continues in his role as President of Endemol Shine Latino, overseeing all of the company’s initiatives in Latin America and Spanish-language productions in the U.S. and Mexico. Drillich reports to Abrego and is based in Miami.

Endemol Shine Latino has recently launched successful versions of “MasterChef,” “MasterChef Jr.” and “Big Brother” in Mexico, as well the first Spanish-language version of “Big Brother” in the U.S. for Telemundo and NBCUniverso’s first-ever scripted series, “El Vato,” which was recently renewed for a second season.

The co-founder and former co-chief executive 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 began his career at Bunim/Murray, where he worked on "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. 

Further information:
Joe Schlosser
[email protected]

Endemol Shine North America delivers world-class content and compelling storytelling to multiple platforms in the U.S. and across the globe. Endemol Shine North America is part of Endemol Shine Group, the global 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.

Its Endemol Shine Studios division develops and produces original scripted television programming in the U.S. for global exploitation and Endemol Shine Latino oversees all Spanish-language sales and development in both the U.S. and now across all of Latin America. Subsidiary production companies include Authentic Entertainment, Original Media, True Entertainment and 51 Minds Entertainment. In addition, Endemol Shine North America has a strategic partnership with Ryan Seacrest Productions.

Endemol Shine Group’s companies in North America are behind such hit series as Big Brother (CBS), The Biggest Loser (NBC), Hell on Wheels (AMC), Ink Master (Spike), Kingdom (AT&T Audience Network), MasterChef (FOX), MasterChef Junior (FOX), The Almost Impossible Game Show (MTV), Swamp People (History), The Real Housewives of Atlanta (Bravo), Steve Harvey (NBCU), T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle (VH1), Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge (CMT), Billion Dollar Buyer (CNBC) and upcoming “Page Six TV” (Syndicated) Hunted (CBS), Superhuman (FOX), and I’m Dying Up Here (Showtime).

Endemol Shine Beyond USA is the digital studio of Endemol Shine North America, focused on developing original series across a wide array of platforms. In partnership with Michelle Phan, Endemol Shine Beyond is home to the ICON Network, a female-driven digital network focused on beauty, fashion, comedy, relationships, wellness and travel. ICON is available on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and many other platforms. Endemol Shine Beyond produces numerous original digital-first series including lifestyle comedy “Pretty Little Pranksters,” “Beauty Newbies,” as well as eSports hit global franchise “Legends of Gaming.”


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