The veteran entertainment executive, who left her role as head of BuzzFeed’s film and TV development earlier this month, has joined the one-year-old Viacom channel as senior vp unscripted development and production. Dolgen starts June 3 and will report to Keith Cox, who leads Paramount Network and TV Land.
With the move, Dolgen returns to the Viacom fold. She previously spent 19 years as an executive at MTV, rising to become head of reality programming at the cable network and creating such shows as Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant. She left Viacom in 2016 and joined upstart network Viceland the following year to lead West Coast development.
“We’re ecstatic to have Lauren on board at Paramount Network and welcome her back home to the Viacom family,” said Cox. “Her unbelievable track record of monumental hit series that continuously break into the cultural zeitgeist, proves she has the perfect creative instincts to take our unscripted programming to the next level.”
Dolgen ran BuzzFeed’s film and television development for the last year, replacing Matthew Henick in the role after he decamped for Facebook. But the digital publisher has been slow to find a foothold in Hollywood, with Netflix unscripted series Follow This canceled after one season. Where BuzzFeed has found success is with digital projects like AM to DM on Twitter and RelationShipped on Facebook, projects that leaned less heavily on Dolgen’s traditional television background.
At Paramount Network, Dolgen will be responsible for expanding an unscripted programming slate that already includes Lip Sync Battle and Ink Master.
“I’m excited to join Keith in continuing to shape the brand and the programming at Paramount Network,” said Dolgen. “It’s a special opportunity to develop unscripted shows at a strong, growing brand with a name that holds so much legacy. I can’t wait to dive in and get my hands dirty.”