Veteran producer and longtime executive Julie Pizzi has been named President, Bunim/Murray Productions, it was announced today by Cris Abrego, Chairman of the Americas, Banijay, and President and CEO, Endemol Shine Holdings.
Pizzi, who formerly served as President of Entertainment and Development at Bunim/Murray, has led both development and production during her career at the Banijay-owned studio that first started in 1998.
Bunim/Murray Productions was originally founded in 1987 and is behind such ground-breaking unscripted series as The Real World, Road Rules, Keeping Up With The Kardashians and The Challenge. Earlier this month, Paramount+ announced it had ordered a new season of The Real World that will include members of the original cast that first aired on MTV.
Last November, Bunim/Murray Productions was put under the purview of Abrego, who now oversees nine different Banijay-owned studios across North and Latin America, including Endemol Shine North America.
“Julie brings a wealth of unscripted production experience to her new role and has been a part of the Bunim/Murray family for more than 20 years, making her the ideal candidate to lead the studio into the next decade,” says Abrego. “Bunim/Murray is one of the true pioneers in the unscripted industry and thanks to Julie and many others, it has a tremendous amount of momentum with numerous new ground-breaking series on the way.”
“I started my career at Bunim/Murray and was mentored by its founders, the late Mary-Ellis Bunim and Jonathan Murray,” says Pizzi. “I have incredible admiration for the company they created and it’s important for me to continue to build on what they built in both nurturing creativity and developing content that is both innovative and entertaining.”
Pizzi added, “At the same time, look forward to working with Cris Abrego, his team and Banijay globally as we shepherd Bunim/Murray into its next successful chapter. Cris is an industry leader, who also worked at BMP during the company’s early years. He understands the uniqueness of the company, the brand and its culture.”
Pizzi has more than 20 years of experience producing hundreds of hours of unscripted television. While serving as President of Entertainment and Development, she had creative and development responsibility for all of Bunim/Murray’s format series and increasing the development of original formats.
Most recently, she developed and served as Executive Producer on Bill Nye Saves the World for Netflix and was one of the first partners with Facebook to launch the Ball In The Family series on their Watch platform. Pizzi also developed and led production on The Real World Thailand, Mexico and Atlanta for Facebook, Snapchat’s first docu-series Endless, Kim Kardashian West—The Justice Project for Oxygen and Family or Fiance´ for OWN.
Previously, Pizzi served as Creative Vice President and Showrunner at Bunim/Murray for six years, where she spearheaded development and executive produced high-rated seasons of Road Rules and Real World/Road Rules Challenge (MTV), as well as Born to Diva (VH1). And Pizzi has continued to oversee the hit Challenge franchise for MTV, which is going into its 37th season.
In 2004, Pizzi left Bunim/Murray to launch award-winning reality and documentary company, PB&J Television. As Co-President of PB&J, Pizzi executive produced Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit Model Search (NBC), Reversal of Fortune (Showtime), America’s Prom Queen (ABC Family), Bad Sex (LOGO), as well as four seasons of the hit Dress My Nest (Style).
Pizzi, who returned to head up development at Bunim/Murray in 2015, has produced many hours of programming for MTV, Facebook, Snapchat, Netflix, E!, Showtime, Paramount +, USA, Oxygen, OWN, HGTV, SYFY, NBC, FOX, Travel Channel, A&E, VH1, CMT, ABC Family, Style, Lifetime, The CW, TLC and Discovery.