‘The Real World’ prodco Bunim/Murray appoints Julie Pizzi as president

Julie Pizzi

The Real World producer Bunim/Murray Productions has appointed Julie Pizzi as president, following the departure late last year of former CEO and chairman Gil Goldschein.

Pizzi first joined the Banijay-owned LA-based prodco in 1998 and went on to become creative VP and showrunner, before launching reality and documentary company, PB&J Television.

She rejoined Bunim/Murray in 2015 and was president of entertainment & development, developing Bill Nye Saves The World for Netflix and working with Facebook to launch Ball In The Family on its Watch platform.

Pizzi also developed and led production on The Real World Thailand, Mexico and Atlanta for Facebook, Snapchat’s first docu-series Endless, Kim Kardashian West – The Justice Project for Oxygen and Family or Fiancé for OWN.

Abrego’s arrival

Her appointment comes four months after production and distribution giant Banijay promoted Endemol Shine exec Cris Abrego to lead its operations in North America and Latin America, as part of a restructure that saw Bunim/Murray’s longtime chief Goldschein depart. Abrego’s remit covers nine different Banijay-owned studios across North America and Latin America.

Cris Abrego

This includes Bunim/Murray, which was founded in 1987 and has been behind The Real World, Road Rules, Keeping Up With The Kardashians and The Challenge. Earlier this month, Paramount+ announced it had ordered a new season of The Real World that will include members of the original cast that first aired on MTV.

Abrego said: “Julie brings a wealth of unscripted production experience to her new role and has been a part of the Bunim/Murray family for more than 20 years, making her the ideal candidate to lead the studio into the next decade. Bunim/Murray is one of the true pioneers in the unscripted industry and thanks to Julie and many others, it has a tremendous amount of momentum with numerous new ground-breaking series on the way.”

“I started my career at Bunim/Murray and was mentored by its founders, the late Mary-Ellis Bunim and Jonathan Murray,” says Pizzi. “I have incredible admiration for the company they created and it’s important for me to continue to build on what they built in both nurturing creativity and developing content that is both innovative and entertaining.”

“At the same time, I look forward to working with Cris Abrego, his team and Banijay globally as we shepherd Bunim/Murray into its next successful chapter. Cris is an industry leader, who also worked at BMP during the company’s early years. He understands the uniqueness of the company, the brand and its culture.”

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