Banijay, the world’s leading unscripted producer and distributor, today announces the final structure for its operations across the Americas, with Cris Abrego stepping up in a new overarching role. As Chairman of the Americas, Banijay, and President and CEO, Endemol Shine Holdings, he will now have principal responsibility for North America and Latin America, reporting to Chief Executive Officer, Marco Bassetti.
A renowned U.S.-based content leader, Abrego previously served as CEO, Endemol Shine North America and Chairman, Endemol Shine Americas, having taken up the positions in 2016. Originally joining Endemol Shine North America in 2014 as CO-CEO, he, in 2016, was given added oversight of the company’s Latin American operations as Co-Chairman, Endemol Shine Americas. Former co-founder and chief executive of Endemol Shine-owned studio 51 Minds Entertainment, he is one of the leading creators and producers of reality television in the U.S., recognized globally for pioneering the celeb-reality genre. Most recently, he led the successful launch of production labels in both Brasil and Mexico for Endemol Shine, as well as a push into Spanish-language programming in the U.S. and across Latin America.
Steeped in critical acclaim, Abrego’s new footprint is behind hit titles including Big Brother (CBS), MasterChef (FOX), Lego Masters (FOX), The Real Housewives of Atlanta (Bravo), Keeping up with the Kardashians (E!), Utopia (Amazon Prime Video), Ball in the Family (Facebook Watch), T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle (VH-1) and the upcoming return of Wipeout (TBS). Spanish-language triumphs to date include Mira Quién Baila (Univision), LOL: Last One Laughing (Amazon), ¿Quién Es La Máscara?(Televisa), MasterChef Mexico (Azteca), Tu Cara Me Suena (Univison), MasterChef Brazil(Bandeirantes/Discovery), All Together Now (Teen) (Record), Extreme Makeover Home Edition (GNT/Globo), Game of Clones (Amazon/Record) and Súbete a Mi Moto (Amazon).
“Cris has long been a significant figurehead in the US content ecosystem. Respected, creatively triumphant and a driver of positive change, he has all the qualities to strategically and effectively lead one of our largest territories,” said Marco Bassetti. “With nine labels split across North and Latin America, spanning everything from entertainment to scripted, he has oversight of some of the region’s most celebrated IP and we’ve no doubt our pipeline and reputation will only soar under his leadership.”
“I am truly excited about this new role and the opportunity that it allows me and our team to continue building on the tremendous momentum we’ve created at Endemol Shine over the last five years across North America and Latin America,” says Abrego. “I’m also looking forward to working closely with Marco and our new Banijay colleagues here in the U.S. and around the globe. Together we are now home to many of the biggest titles in our industry and our teams are currently developing the hits of tomorrow.”
Abrego’s full portfolio of award-winning businesses now includes Endemol Shine North America,Bunim/Murray Productions, Authentic Entertainment, Truly Original, 51 Minds Entertainment, Stephen David Entertainment and YellowBird US. He will also have full oversight of Endemol Shine Latino, the company’s Spanish-language sales and development arm that leads all original programming initiatives across Latin America, including Mexico City-based studio Endemol Shine Boomdog and Endemol Shine Brasil in Sao Paulo. Banijay Studios North America will continue to be run independently by President and CEO, David Goldberg.
As one of the highest-ranking Latinos in television, Abrego has made inclusion a top priority for his team at Endemol Shine and across the entire entertainment industry – he will continue to drive this narrative across his broadened remit.