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Punk’d creator forms STX unscripted arm

Formats-logo-460_2US producer STX Entertainment has formed an unscripted television arm and appointed Punk’d creator Jason Goldberg to run it.

Robert Simonds launched STX in 2014 as a film and scripted TV studio, but is now pushing into reality and unscripted shows as part of a “broader mission to create an integrated, diversified global entertainment company”.

Goldberg has been named president, non-scripted and alternative programming.

He will lead the STX Non-Scripted production team to create original shows in the US, China and India for linear and digital platforms, and already has twelve projects in development in the US and Asia for the likes of NBC, The CW, Food Network, Syfy, Oxygen, History Channel and Freeform.

The focus will be local language IP that can be adapted internationally, with STX developing and producing shows both internally and through “strategic” partnerships with prodcos.

To that end, STX claims it will become the first US-based entertainment company involved in a Chinese broadcast show. Thank You For Your Love (WT) is in development with XG Entertainment and expected to air on a Chinese channel with one billion viewer-reach this year.

STX will control the US and international rights to shows it makes in China, and expects to make “further announcements regarding additional markets in the near-term”.

STX already has links in Asia. It counts China’s Hony Capital as a key investor, with the private equity firm’s CEO John Zhao sitting on its board.

“STX is the premier home for the world’s best storytellers, and building non-scripted production capabilities opens up even more avenues to reach audiences across diverse creative outlets,” said Sophie Watts, president of STX Entertainment.

STX Non-Scripted chief Goldberg is best known for Warner Bros. Television-sold MTV reality prank series Punk’d, and from 2000 to 2014 led Katalyst Media as CEO. He also produced Beauty and the Geek for The WB and The CW and True Beauty for ABC, and developed successful digital and film businesses.

On the scripted front, STX is most notable for NBC thriller drama State of Affairs, which starred Katherine Heigl.

Film producer Simonds launched STX with financial backing from TPG Growth, with former Viacom Entertainment president and COO Tom McGrath as COO and a board including former Viacom CEO Frank Biondi and ex-Fox Networks Group CEO Tony Vinciquerra.

The firm recently hired Film4 director David Kosse to launch a global arm, STX International.