CBS publicist Mitch Graham has been named CBS’ new vice president for alternative programming, i.e. reality TV, the network announced today. He will report to CBS’ new reality TV executive vice president, Chris Castallo, and “will oversee CBS’s current slate of reality franchises,” which means Survivor, Big Brother, The Amazing Race, and Undercover Boss.
The network’s announcement also said, “He will also be involved in the development of new alternative programs, including reality, game shows and other non-scripted programming.” Mitch has been with the network since 1999, and a director of publicity for the network since 2008, and worked on Under the Dome this sumer, in addition to being Big Brother‘s publicist for four years.
In the press release, Castallo said, “As a publicist who has long and deep roots in all of our franchises, there wasnâ€™t a more valuable candidate than Mitch. As our go-to guy for many years, his established relationships with our producers will be invaluable going forward.”
That’s a fascinating reason and as surprising as it is–a publicist turned programming executive?–it also sounds really smart, especially in terms of the “established relationships with our producers” that Castallo cites. Having a network executive who oversees shows be able to understand and work with producers is critical. In addition, in all my professional interaction with him, Mitch has never been anything else but kind and professional, and I look forward to seeing what he does with CBS’ existing shows.