Television Business International

Bunim-Murray backs ex-Zodiak USA chief’s prodco

Formats-logo-460_2Joel Karsberg1Former Zodiak USA boss Joel Karsberg has secured backing from Bunim-Murray Productions (BMP) for his new prodco, Kreativ Inc.

Karsberg launched the firm after leaving Banijay Group-owned Zodiak USA, where he was chief creative officer and CEO, and has a pod deal with BMP, another Banijay company.

He has also drafted in former Mark Burnett Productions and Entertainment One development exec Jesse Daniels as VP of development for his formats-focused business.

Kreativ and Keeping Up with the Kardashians producer BMP are already working together on MTV Undressed, a reality series based on a Banijay format that debuts in the US next month.

Karsberg also executive produced BMP coproduction The Selection: Special Operations Experiment, which debuted on the History Channel in December 2016.

Banijay Rights will sell the unscripted formats that Kreativ develops and produces.

“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.”

Previous shows to come from BMP pod deals include E!’s Mariah’s World, National Geographic’s Earth Live and Logo doc Hungry.

While at Zodiak, Karsberg held roles such as CCO of Zodiak Nordic and chairman of an international development board. He moved to the US with long-time production partner Cem Yeter to lead Zodiak USA, where he was executive producer of Celebrity Wife Swap for ABC and Planet Primetime for Travel Channel.

Before Zodiak, he was head of development at Scandinavian prodco Friday TV, which developed Minute to Win it, Clash of the Choirs and Single Moms, all of which aired in the US.

Karsberg called BMP “the cradle of reality TV and home to some of the most important franchises of the unscripted world”.