NBC reality exec Craig Plestis fired, replaced by BBC’s Paul Telegdy

The NBC executive who developed shows such as America’s Got Talent, For Love or Money, and Who Wants to Marry My Dad? has been fired along with two other NBC executives. Craig Plestis will be replaced by BBC Worldwide Productions’ Paul Telegdy, who oversaw the adaptation of Strictly Come Dancing into ABC’s Dancing with the Stars.

NBC is expected to announce that officially today, after Deadline Hollywood Daily’s Nikki Finke reported Friday that “Teri Weinberg, the EVP of NBC Entertainment, and Katherine Pope, the Universal Studio Media President, have been fired as well as NBC Reality czar Craig Plestis (who’d been twisting in the wind for weeks).” He “had months left on his contract as NBC Entertainment’s EVP of Alternative Programming, Development and Specials, so shitcanning him isn’t expensive. The problem is that, beyond America’s Got Talent, no recent NBC reality shows have stuck,” she reported.

That was rumored back in late October, when Finke reported that “Paul Telegdy suddenly and unexpectedly resigned from BBC Worldwide America” and “Plestis went to [NBC head] Ben Silverman and asked if he were being replaced by Telegdy, as insiders speculated to [Finke] today when Paul quit the BBC.”

Plestis will now produce shows for NBC. He was promoted to executive vice President of alternative programming, development and specials in March of 2007, and when NBC announced Superstar Dancers of the World in mid-November, Plestis told The Hollywood Reporter, “I’ll be here for a long time at NBC. I wouldn’t be buying shows and talking about them if I wasn’t.”

The Los Angeles Times notes that “Plestis was in charge of game and reality shows, although several of his initiatives, such as ‘Clash of the Choirs’ and ‘America’s Got Talent,’ sputtered in the ratings.” Ironically, Clash of the Choirs was executive produced by Telegdy, since the winter mini-series was produced by BBC Worldwide America.

2ND UPDATE: NBC UNIVERSAL SHAKE-UP! Teri Weinberg And Katherine Pope Out; Angela Bromstad Being Brought Back In; BBC’s Paul Telegdy Starts January 5th and 2ND UPDATE: Is BBC America’s Telegdy About To Become A Top NBC Executive? [Deadline Hollywood Daily]
NBC orders competitive dance show [Hollywood Reporter]
Downturn creates drama at NBC [Los Angeles Times]

Surprisingly, man not eaten alive on Eaten Alive

Eaten Alive

Discovery Channel’s happy family holiday special Eaten Alive aired Sunday, rewarding viewers for their two full hours of viewing by ensuring that they spent quality time in the company of others instead of wasting that time doing something else that might not have been as satisfying, such as buying things that have labels which accurately reflect their contents.


Winter 2015 reality TV debut schedule

winter 2015 reality TV schedule

Mark your calendars with all these upcoming reality TV show debuts, including Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, and another season of MasterChef Junior, all of which kick off in early January.

There are also 20+ shows debuting in December--including the one-off return of The Sing Off. No winter break for reality TV.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.