MTV Studios Joins Overall Deals Fray

The Viacom-backed company is moving to protect three of its top unscripted producers and keep them in-house.
Courtesy of MTV
Lashan Browning (left), Tiffany Williams and Adam Gonzalez

MTV Studios, the in-house production company that launched in June 2018, is moving to protect some of its top unscripted producers by locking them into overall deals.

Cementing their relationships with the Viacom-backed studio are Lashan Browning (Love & Hip Hop Atlanta), Adam Gonzalez (Teyana and Iman, America's Next Top Model) and Tiffany Lea Williams (Are You the One, Teen Mom).

The overall deals are part of a move by MTV Studios to continue to incubate and invest in independent production ventures while also building content partnerships that position the platform to monetize its existing library and create potential new franchises.

“Lashan, Adam and Tiffany are three proven hitmakers who know inside and out what our audience wants,” said Nina L. Diaz, president of entertainment for Viacom's Music Group (MTV, VH1, CMT and Logo). “Collectively, they share a talent for finding authentic voices and sparking cultural moments that resonate. We are excited to help bring their creative vision to life and see what their storytelling powers yield.”

Browning served as showrunner for Love & Hip Hop Atlanta and Cartel Crew. She started her career working for Spike Lee before moving to help launch NBCUniversal's niche cable network Oxygen. She is the principal of Nola Entertainment.

Gonzalez was showrunner on America's Next Top Model and alsoexec produced Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List. He previously worked with Diaz on VH1's Mob Wives.

Williams, and her Ideax banner, started at MTV as a PA before moving to BET as an exec producer and returning to Diaz's team as senior vp unscripted series development. She was the force behind Are You the One and oversaw the expansion of the Teen Mom franchise.

The overall deals are an investment by MTV Studios as it looks to shore up top talent amid a climate of fierce competition from both streamers and traditional networks. Multiple streamers and traditional studios alike are locking in top scripted producers to overall deals as they look to both own their content and offer new and exclusive series from those top creators as a way to draw eyeballs and subscription dollars while getting a leg up on the competition.