Sharon Levy has been elevated to Chief Executive Officer of Endemol Shine North America, the Banijay-owned studio behind the Emmy Award- nominated LEGO Masters, MasterChef, Wipeout, and the highly-anticipated Ripley, it was announced today by Ben Samek, Chief Executive Officer, Banijay Americas.
In her new role, Levy, who has served as Chief Content Officer, Endemol Shine North America, since 2021, will manage all aspects of the business and its growth. Named as one of the “Most Powerful Producers in Unscripted TV” by The Hollywood Reporter, she will also continue to lead all of the studio’s unscripted and scripted programming efforts from the company’s North Hollywood headquarters.
“Sharon is one of the most strategic executives in the business, someone whose creative vision is matched only by her market savvy,” said Samek. “Over the past five years, she has already positioned Endemol Shine North America as a major industry player and unleashed the creativity of her group. I look forward to supporting her as she leads her talented team to new heights.”
“I’m very excited to take on the CEO role for the new Endemol Shine North America as we chart its course forward during an extraordinary time for the industry,” said Levy. “I am thankful to Ben for believing in me and my exceptional team and giving us the responsibility and opportunity to redefine ESNA. With Endemol Shine North America now operating solely as a production studio, we’ll move more nimbly and be better positioned to meet the challenges of the moment. It’s a new era at ESNA, and we look forward to working with partners, old and new, to create great television.”
With Levy now in place as CEO, Endemol Shine North America, which previously operated as the holding company on behalf of Banijay Americas, will operate as an independent production studio alongside the nine other Banijay-owned studios. In announcing these moves, his first since being named CEO, Banijay Americas, Samek completes the restructure of Banijay’s businesses across the Americas, establishing the new Endemol Shine North America studio alongside fellow U.S.-based Bunim/Murray Productions, Truly Original, 51 Minds Entertainment, Authentic Entertainment and Stephen David Entertainment; Mexico-based Endemol Shine Boomdog and Banijay Mexico and U.S. Hispanic; and Brazil-based Endemol Shine Brasil and A Fábrica.
“Historically, Endemol Shine North America served a dual role as the parent company to our subsidiaries and as its own production label,” said Samek. “Reconstituting ESNA as a pure production studio that lives alongside the nine other studios that form Banijay Americas, each with its own leadership and goals, will afford us the opportunity to work more collaboratively and efficiently and represent ourselves more clearly to our industry partners.”
Since joining Endemol Shine North America in 2017 as President, Unscripted and Scripted TV, Levy, an award-winning producer and executive, has successfully reconfigured the studio’s Los Angeles-based programming team to work more closely with Banijay’s myriad global production companies and created an original development slate that features projects from co-owned labels worldwide with marquis talent highlighted by Will Arnett, John Cena, Nicole Byer, Keke Palmer, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, John Cusack, Steve Zaillian, Gillian Flynn, and more.
During her tenure with Endemol Shine North America, Levy has launched and overseen numerous hits including FOX’s wildly-successful and Emmy Award-nominated LEGO Masters (hosted by Will Arnett), TBS’ revamped Wipeout (with John Cena and Nicole Byer), Foodtastic (Disney+), The Courtship (USA/Peacock), a new version of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition for HGTV, and the highly-anticipated Showtime original series, Ripley. Levy also leads Endemol Shine’s top-rated food competition franchises, MasterChef and MasterChef Junior.
Prior to joining Endemol Shine, Levy served as Executive Vice President of Original Series for Spike TV where she oversaw the acquisition, creation, and production of unscripted series, scripted series, and documentaries, successfully transforming the network’s brand identity with hits such as Ink Master, Bar Rescue, Auction Hunters, and Deadliest Warrior.
Last year, Levy helped orchestrate a new partnership between Endemol Shine North America and EveryWoman Studios to expand the Propelle Program, an initiative designed to give up-and- coming female creators more opportunities in unscripted TV. As part of this initiative, Endemol Shine North America underwrote a new format category within the Propelle Program, pairing female creators with industry mentors to help develop the next batch of unscripted hit series.