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Craig Plestis Brings His Smart Dog Media to Endemol Shine North America

October 25, 2018—Endemol Shine North America has signed an overall development deal with veteran unscripted TV executive Craig Plestis and his production company Smart Dog Media, it was announced today by Sharon Levy, President, Unscripted & Scripted Television, Endemol Shine North America.

Plestis, who helped develop and launch such series as “America’s Got Talent,” “The Biggest Loser” and “Deal or No Deal” as NBC’s top unscripted executive, is set to launch his latest series “Masked Singer” with Endemol Shine North America on FOX in January.

“Craig has a remarkable track record in both identifying and developing unscripted hits and we’re thrilled he is now housed with our team at Endemol Shine North America,” says Levy. “And his latest discovery, ‘Masked Singer,’ is unlike anything we’ve seen here in the U.S. and is sure to make a lot of noise for FOX early next year.”

Plestis added, “After meeting with Sharon and her team, it was clear to me that joining forces made a lot of sense given Endemol Shine’s global sensibility and reach. When I originally made ‘Americas Got Talent’ at NBC, no one was doing variety and I was first to the field with the idea. Our joint goal is the same: to develop new and ground-breaking series and we can’t wait to share the trailblazing and worldwide hit series ‘Masked Singer’ with American viewers.”

Plestis knows unscripted programming unlike many in the industry. As the former Executive Vice President, Alternative Programming, Development and Specials at NBC, he helped develop and launch such hits as “America's Got Talent,” “Deal or No Deal,” “The Biggest Loser,” “The Apprentice,” “Fear Factor,” “The Singing Bee,” “The Contender” and many others during his tenure at the network. He also oversaw production of the Golden Globe Awards.

After leaving NBC, Plestis launched his own production company, Smart Dog Media, an unscripted TV studio. Under the Smart Dog banner, Plestis has executive produced a handful of top series including “Minute To Win It” and “The Winner Is” for NBC. He also launched “Robot Combat League” for Syfy, the world’s first fighting robot competition series and he’s produced three different series for The Food Network, including “Chef Wanted.” Plestis is represented by Steve Wohl at Paradigm.


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 Latino division oversees all Spanish and Portuguese-language operations across Latin America, including newly launched studio Endemol Shine Boomdog, which produces original content for both the U.S. Hispanic and Mexican markets. Subsidiary production companies include Authentic Entertainment, Truly Original, and 51 Minds Entertainment.

Endemol Shine Group’s companies in North America are behind such hit series as Big Brother (CBS), Ink Master (Paramount Network), MasterChef (FOX), MasterChef Junior (FOX), Swamp People (History), The Real Housewives of Atlanta (Bravo), Below Deck (Bravo), T.I. & Tiny: Friends And Family Hustle (VH1), Page Six TV (Syndicated), Fear Factor (MTV), Mira Quien Baila (Univision), I'm Dying Up Here (Showtime), Trading Spaces (TLC) and upcoming Deal or No Deal (CNBC), LOL (Amazon), Big Bounce Battle (FOX), Masked Singer (FOX) and Utopia (Amazon).


Founded by television veteran Craig Plestis, Smart Dog Media has been one of the entertainment industry’s leading broadcast and cable network production companies.

Smart Dog Media is the production company behind Fox's new series, The Masked Singer.

With critically acclaimed shows like the long-running series  Minute to Win It, hosted by Guy Fieri, which was the winner of the International FRAPA Award for Best Studio-Based Game Show, Smart Dog Media continues to expand on its successes including NBC’s The Winner Is and Who’s Still Standing, Syfy’s Robot Combat League and Exit, Food Network’s Chef Wanted with Anne Burrell and Extreme Chef and nationally syndicated series Unsealed: Alien Files and Unsealed: Conspiracy Files.

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