SANTA MONICA, Calif., April 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Acclaimed Emmy® and NAACP award-winning producer Craig Piligian has signed a new long-term agreement with global content leader Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF.A, LGF.B), expanding his purview to become President of Lionsgate’s nonfiction television business while continuing as CEO of Pilgrim Media Group. Under the new agreement, Piligian has also been elevated to Chair of Pilgrim Media Group.
In his role as President of Lionsgate Nonfiction Television, a new position, Piligian will be responsible for overseeing Lionsgate’s unscripted television business, developing new nonfiction series and managing the Company’s partnerships with unscripted television producers.
Pilgrim Media Group, in which Lionsgate acquired a majority stake in 2015, has established itself as a leader in nonfiction programming with nearly 20 current series for major network partners. Its slate includes the upcoming «The Ultimate Surfer» (ABC), «The Ultimate Fighter» (ESPN+), «My Big Fat Fabulous Life» (TLC) and the «Street Outlaws» (Discovery) and «Wicked Tuna» (National Geographic) franchises. Piligian has also produced critically acclaimed documentaries such as Soufra, Tre Maison Dasan, The Boy Band Con: The Lou Pearlman Story and Giving Voice.
«Craig is a great partner, a savvy strategist and a leading creative force in the unscripted world,» said Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer. «This is an opportunity to continue simplifying our business by bringing all of our unscripted operations together under Craig’s oversight while enabling him to continue overseeing Pilgrim’s world-class nonfiction brand.»
«Pilgrim is a powerhouse in unscripted content so we’re fortunate to have the experience and expertise of its leader as we continue to fill our nonfiction programming pipeline,» said Lionsgate Television Group Chairman Kevin Beggs. «We look forward to drawing upon Craig’s wealth of creative relationships in building our unscripted business alongside Pilgrim as a major player in the nonfiction space.»
«It’s a pleasure to work with Kevin Beggs and Sandra Stern, and I look forward to collaborating with the rest of their television team in developing premium nonfiction programming for Lionsgate,» said Piligian. «I also welcome the opportunity to continue partnering with Jon Feltheimer, a one-of-a-kind CEO who has created an entrepreneurial and collaborative culture at Lionsgate in which Pilgrim has been empowered to flourish.»
Piligian has been a major player in nonfiction programming for nearly three decades. An original executive producer of the seminal CBS hit «Survivor,» Piligian began his career in the news business, then went on to produce some of the first reality programming. He founded Pilgrim Films & Television (now Pilgrim Media Group) in 1997, subsequently creating several of television’s most groundbreaking and enduring unscripted series for U.S. and international airing.
He has consistently ranked among the Top 10 producers in The Hollywood Reporter’s annual Reality Power List and Variety’s annual Reality Impact Report. Additionally, Realscreen has honored him with its Producer Extraordinaire award and inducted him into its Hall of Fame. Piligian was Broadcasting & Cable magazine’s first-ever Producer of the Year and was also recognized by Next TV Summit as Innovator of the Year. He serves on the Hollywood Radio and Television Society’s Board of Directors.
Alice Dickens-Koblin, who stepped in from Starz to ramp up Lionsgate’s unscripted business, will continue her role as Starz SVP and Head of Unscripted Television for the global premium streaming service. She will also continue to lead Lionsgate’s 1619 Project unscripted content based on materials from the Pulitzer Prize®-winning 1619 Project, including the recently announced documentary series for Hulu to which Oprah Winfrey, The New York Times and Roger Ross Williams are attached.
Lionsgate’s unscripted television roster includes «House of Ho» on HBO Max, «Selling Sunset» and «Kevin Hart: Don’t F**k This Up» on Netflix and «De Viaje con Los Derbez» on Pantaya.
The deal was negotiated for Lionsgate by Lionsgate EVP & General Counsel Corii Berg, EVP Business & Legal Affairs Randall Jackson, EVP & Associate General Counsel Adrian Kuzycz, SVP Business & Legal Affairs Rahwa Ghebre-Ab and SVP Business & Legal Affairs Steve Gofman and for Piligian by Sidley Austin’s Matt Thompson, Rollin Ransom, and Vijay Sekhon, and Bill Pace from Andersen Tax.
Combining the STARZ premium global subscription platform with world-class motion picture and television studio operations, Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF.A, LGF.B) brings a unique and varied portfolio of entertainment to consumers around the world. Its film, television, subscription and location-based entertainment businesses are backed by a 17,000-title library and the largest collection of film and television franchises in the independent media space. A digital age company driven by its entrepreneurial culture and commitment to innovation, the Lionsgate brand is synonymous with bold, original, relatable entertainment for the audiences it serves worldwide.
Pilgrim Media Group, a Lionsgate company headed by Emmy®-winning producer Craig Piligian, produces a diverse slate of unscripted and scripted programming across all platforms. The company is behind hit series like «Ghost Hunters,» «American Chopper,» «Fast N’ Loud,» the «Street Outlaws» and «Wicked Tuna» franchises, «My Big Fat Fabulous Life,» «Dodgeball Thunderdome,» «Bring It!,» «Battlefish,» and «The Ultimate Fighter.» Among Pilgrim’s feature documentaries are the award-winning films Soufra, Tre Maison Dasan, now streaming on Hulu and PBS.org respectively, The Boy Band Con: The Lou Pearlman Story for YouTube Premium, and the 2020 Sundance Festival Favorite Award winner, Giving Voice. Global content leader Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF.A, LGF.B) is a majority investor in Pilgrim.
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