10:05am PT by Rick Porter
CBS Unscripted Head Sharon Vuong Exits Network
Sharon Vuong, head of unscripted programming at CBS, is leaving the network.
Vuong opted not to renew her contract with the broadcaster and wrapped up her nine-year tenure at CBS on April 10. "I will always love CBS, yet I am excited for the next chapter that lies ahead," she wrote in email to CBS staff.
"Sharon has been an invaluable member of CBS Entertainment, leading the alternative team with creativity, energy and a collaborative, talent-friendly style that our producers have always greatly appreciated," CBS Entertainment president Kelly Kahl wrote in a memo to staff. "… I don't know anyone who pours more sweat into their shows than Sharon, and I don't know anyone who cares more about their success."
The well-respected Vuong oversaw development of new unscripted programs for CBS in addition to keeping things running on the network's existing franchises: Survivor, The Amazing Race, Big Brother and Undercover Boss. She championed Love Island, the adaptation of the British hit that had modest on-air ratings last summer but performed well on digital and social platforms and was renewed for a second season. (Production is delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.)
The network also has two upcoming competition shows developed under Vuong, the Phil Keoghan-hosted Tough as Nails and the James Corden-produced Game On, which will feature Venus Williams, Rob Gronkowski and host Keegan-Michael Key.
Vuong joined CBS in 2011 as director alternative programming. She rose to vp alternative the following year and served as vp alternative series development from 2013-17. She took leadership of the department in April 2017 as senior vp alternative programming. Prior to joining the network, she worked as a producer on Dancing With the Stars and The Bachelor, among other shows, and in various capacities on Big Brother and Survivor.
Deadline first reported Vuong's departure. Read Kahl's and Vuong's memos to CBS staff below.
Good afternoon, everyone. Some news I wanted to share — our incredible head of alternative, Sharon Vuong, informed Thom [Sherman] and me recently that she would be leaving when her contract expires this week. (If I were on my iPhone, this is where I would type in the sad face emoji.)
Sharon has been an invaluable member of CBS Entertainment, leading the alternative team with creativity, energy and a collaborative, talent-friendly style that our producers have always greatly appreciated.
She was the guardian and shepherd of our signature properties, including Survivor, The Amazing Race and Big Brother. She championed the development of last summer's buzzy Love Island and is behind a couple exciting new shows we hope to have for this summer, Tough As Nails and Game On.
Although Sharon is leaving, she is not retiring; she is taking a wildly deserved break to spend more time with her family. While that often sounds like spin, in this case it’s absolutely true. Sharon works around the clock — literally — to put out fires, guide producers, make sure episodes are delivered on time and protect the health and welfare of contestants on our shows. I don't know anyone who pours more sweat into their shows than Sharon, and I don't know anyone who cares more about their success.
Above all, Sharon loves to win … and she leaves CBS a huge winner in my book. She embodies dedication and is the ultimate team player. We will miss her greatly. We thank her for her terrific work, and we wish her the very best.
As some of you may already know – tomorrow will be my last day here at CBS. Although it was a very difficult decision for me, I'm excited to carve out my next chapter, and to enjoy a much needed break with my family. At the same time, it's unimaginable for me to know exactly how to say goodbye to what truly has become my home away from home.
First and foremost, I tip my hat to ALL of the incredibly talented and wonderful people who work here at CBS and want to say THANK YOU for being my family for the last decade. I am honored to have worked alongside the best in the business and am proud of everything we have accomplished and persevered through together.
From the bottom of my heart I have to express how grateful I am to the Alternative team for their dedication, infectious passion and hard work in shepherding our legacy franchises as well as launching brand new series during our time together. I couldn't have asked for a better partnership with a group of individuals — and I am proud to have been the steward of this fantastic team.
Lastly, I'd like to thank Kelly, Thom and the amazing senior leadership, both past and present, whose guidance, support and mentorship I will take with me for the rest of my life.
I will always love CBS, yet I am excited for the next chapter that lies ahead. I am leaving better than I arrived because of the imprint you have left on me.
I truly hope this is not good-bye, as I believe we will always be in this together wherever our journey takes us into the future.
Wishing You All The Best,