Mark Burnett Signs New MGM Deal, Named Worldwide TV Group Chairman

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Mark Burnett

The reality TV kingpin has been selling series and signing new pacts right and left.

Not that it should come as any surprise, but Mark Burnett is staying put at MGM.

The veteran producer and reality pioneer has signed a new deal with the company, one that will see him extend his contract through 2022 and carry the new title of Worldwide Television Group chairman.

"In the past four years at MGM we have renewed all our television franchises and have added a lot of new hits," Burnett said Thursday in a statement. "This is the most fun I have had in my career and I know we will continue to build on these successes. I believe so strongly in the future of MGM and the team that surrounds me and it was important for me to extend my involvement well into the future."

Burnett joined MGM Television in 2015, serving as president for most of the last three years. He came to the studio with a wild TV résumé, one that includes such monstrous reality hits as Survivor, The Voice, Shark Tank and, more complicated for the 57-year-old Brit, The Apprentice. The latter solidified Donald Trump's presence in the media and paved the way for his ultimately successful 2016 bid for the U.S. presidency.

Since joining MGM, Burnett has sold a slew of projects with big talent attached, such as Beat Shazam (Fox) and TKO (CBS). He recently announced that he is reviving the reality grandfather Eco Challenge. His first series is being eyed for a 2019 bow and is currently on the market. Burnett has also overseen the key acquisitions of unscripted shingles Evolution Media (Vanderpump Rules) and Big Fish Entertainment (Live PD).

"Mark is a one-of-a-kind creative individual with an incredible eye for talent and content and a long track record of success," said Kevin Ulrich, CEO Anchorage Capital Group and MGM’s chairman of the board of directors. "After more than 25 years in the business, he remains at the top of his game. We are confident that under Mark’s leadership, MGM Television’s best days are ahead."

His time at MGM has also seen scripted output thrive, most notably with the 2017 breakout The Handmaid's Tale. Fargo, Vikings, Get Shorty and Condor are also on its current slate. But it is Burnett's reach in the reality genre that really can't be understated. He has favored franchises on each of the Big Four networks and has one of the best track records for getting a series order on broadcast.