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Saade considers his current gig a dream job. The Ohio native, who got his start as a runner at Dick Clark Productions, lords over a portfolio that includes a collection of longer-running mainstays from top-rated Dancing With the Stars to spinoff-heavy The Bachelor to Friday performer Shark Tank.
He’s particularly excited about filling one of ABC’s few voids, the singing competition, which he will do with this summer’s Duets; Kelly Clarkson and Robin Thicke are among its judges. “It’s a stunningly emotional performance show,” he says of the big-budget project.
When he isn’t in his L.A. office or on the set of one of his shows, the father of three has been known to take apart computers and put them back together. “I like to geek out,” he acknowledges, recalling a 2009 dinner that he attended with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, who was appearing on his network’s Dancing at the time. After the meal, Wozniak said he had enjoyed meeting the network’s “IT guy,” referring, of course, to Saade. “I swear to God I was in heaven,” says Saade, who opted not to correct him.