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Bunim/Murray Productions Signs Exclusive Production Deal with Former Zodiak USA CCO and CEO Joel Karsberg

7/17/2017 2:30 PM

Banijay Group’s Bunim/Murray Productions (BMP), producers of longstanding franchises The Real World, Project Runway and Keeping Up with the Kardashians, has signed an exclusive production deal with former Zodiak USA Chief Creative Officer and Chief Executive Officer Joel Karsberg. Under the pod deal with Karsberg’s new company, Kreativ Inc., he will develop and produce unscripted formats, backed exclusively by BMP. Jesse Daniels, former Director of Development at Entertainment One (eOne), will join the new company as Vice President of Development.

MTV recently announced Kreativ Inc. and BMP’s first series together, MTV Undressed, which will premiere on August 16 on MTV. Based on a successful Banijay Group format, the dating show and social experiment will provide two couples the opportunity to let go of their inhibitions by undressing down to their underwear just moments after meeting, creating an environment where romance can blossom…or not. Karsberg will serve as showrunner, and Banijay Rights will distribute the series internationally. Karsberg also served as Executive Producer of BMP and Film 45’s The Selection: Special Operations Experiment, which premiered last December on History Channel and featured 30 men and women with no military background, who, led by veterans of the Navy SEALS, Green Berets and Army Rangers, embarked on the most intense physical and mental challenge of their lives.

“Joel is a veteran unscripted executive with vast knowledge of international formats that not only travel but will also play well here in the United States,” said Gil Goldschein, CEO of BMP. “The pod model has been successful for BMP, contributing to the nearly 30 new series we have launched in the past two years. We are confident that Joel, Jesse and Kreativ Inc. will enable us to continue to expand into new areas of programming.”

“It is a true honor for me to partner with Bunim/Murray Productions, the cradle of reality TV and home to some of the most important franchises of unscripted television in the world, including The Real World and Keeping Up with the Kardashians. I am certain that this is the start of a great and prolific relationship,” said Karsberg.

Most recently at Zodiak USA, also a Banijay Group company, Karsberg led development with a focus on adapting unscripted international formats for the U.S. market and served as Executive Producer for Celebrity Wife Swap (ABC) and Planet Primetime (Travel Channel). Prior to joining Zodiak USA in 2014, Karsberg served as CCO at Zodiak Nordic and Chairman of Zodiak´s international development board. He was responsible for the creative cooperation between Zodiak´s 45 subsidiaries, which operated between 15 different countries. Prior to joining Zodiak, Karsberg was head of development for the Scandinavian division of Friday TV, known for successful international formats Minute to Win It (NBC), Clash of the Choirs (NBC) and Single Moms (TLC).

In addition to Karsberg and Kreativ Inc.’s The Selection: Special Operations Experiment (History) and Undressed (MTV), Earth Live (National Geographic), The Gary Owen Show (BET), Hungry (Logo documentary) and Mariah's World (E!) all resulted from BMP pod deals.

About Bunim/Murray Productions
Bunim/Murray Productions (BMP) is the leading producer of innovative entertainment content. The Emmy Award-winning company is widely credited with creating the reality television genre with its hit series The Real World (32 seasons on MTV). BMP continued to innovate with the first reality game show, Road Rules (MTV), in 1995; the first reality sitcom, The Simple Life (E!), in 2003; and the first reality soap opera, Starting Over, in 2003. BMP’s current programming includes Keeping up with the Kardashians, Life of Kylie, Total Divas, Total Bellas and So Cosmo (E!), The Real World and The Challenge (MTV), Project Runway and Project Runway All Stars (Lifetime), Valerie’s Home Cooking (Food Network), Born This Way (A&E), Earth Live (National Geographic), Bill Nye Saves the World (Netflix), The Selection: Special Operations Experiment (History), The Healer (TLC) and Chachi’s World (go90). BMP has also produced films, including They Call Us Monsters, Valentine Road (HBO), Pedro (MTV) and the Emmy Award-winning Autism: The Musical (HBO). BMP has launched additional entities including BMP Films, BMP Digital and BMP Latin. Based in Glendale, CA, the company was founded in 1987 by Jonathan Murray and the late Mary-Ellis Bunim, who were inducted into the Television Academy’s Hall of Fame in 2012. The company joined Banijay Group in 2010.

About Kreativ Inc.
Kreativ Inc. is an innovative content production company specializing in bridging the international and U.S. markets. The company was founded by Joel Karsberg in 2017 following the merger between production company giants Banijay and Zodiak. Joel had formerly been the CEO of Zodiak USA and Chairman of the International Development Board, overseeing new programming between Zodiak’s 45 subsidiaries, operating in 15 different countries.

Kreativ Inc. was formed in partnership with Banijay’s award-winning Bunim/Murray Productions in the United States. Recently, Kreativ Inc. announced its first series, Undressed on MTV. The ongoing mission is simple: produce bold and creative concepts from origination through production for broadcast, cable, and digital platforms.

About Banijay Group
Banijay Group is the world’s largest independent content creation Group for television and multimedia platforms. With leading production entities in more than seventeen territories, the Group is engaged in strategic partnerships with innovative creative talent around the world.

The Group’s growing library of formats and programming, as well as acquired third-party content, totals more than 20,000 hours spanning entertainment, factual, drama, factual entertainment, kids and reality; and is licensed internationally by its global distribution arm Banijay Rights.