Bunim-Murray Prods. has a new boss: Julie Pizzi has been named president of the Banijay-owned studio. As president of Bunim-Murray Prods., Pizzi will report to Cris Abrego, chairman of the Americas for Banijay and president/CEO of Endemol Shine Holdings. She fills the void left by the departure of longtime Bunim-Murray chairman/CEO Gil Goldschein, who officially exited the shingle earlier this month.
Abrego made the announcement of Pizzi’s appointment on Wednesday. She was most recently president of entertainment and development at Bunim-Murray. The move comes as part of a reorganization following the announcement in November that Bunim-Murray would be part of Abrego’s oversight.
“Julie brings a wealth of unscripted production experience to her new role and has been a part of the Bunim/Murray family for more than 20 years, making her the ideal candidate to lead the studio into the next decade,” Abrego said. “Bunim-Murray is one of the true pioneers in the unscripted industry and thanks to Julie and many others, it has a tremendous amount of momentum with numerous new ground-breaking series on the way.”
Founded in 1987, Bunim-Murray has been a pioneer in the unscripted space, including the landmark “The Real World.” As part of the launch of Paramount Plus, Bunim-Murray has just produced a new season of “The Real World” featuring the show’s original 1992 New York cast. Bunim-Murray’s other landmark series include “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” “Road Rules” and “The Challenge.”
“I started my career at Bunim/Murray and was mentored by its founders, the late Mary-Ellis Bunim and Jonathan Murray,” Pizzi said. “I have incredible admiration for the company they created and it’s important for me to continue to build on what they built in both nurturing creativity and developing content that is both innovative and entertaining.”
As president of entertainment and development, Pizzi handled creative and development responsibility for all of Bunim-Murray’s format series and increasing the development of original formats.
Among recent projects, she developed and served as executive producer on Netflix’s “Bill Nye Saves the World” and launched “Ball In The Family” for Facebook Watch. She also led production on the Facebook editions of “The Real World’s” Thailand, Mexico and Atlanta editions, Oxygen’s “Kim Kardashian West—The Justice Project” and OWN’s “Family or Fiancé.”
Pizzi first joined Bunim-Murray in 1998, and left in 2004 to help launch PB&J Television, which worked on projects such as Showtime’s “Reversal of Fortune” and ABC Family’s “America’s Prom Queen.” She returned in 2015, producing for MTV, Facebook, Snapchat, Netflix, E!, Showtime, Paramount +, USA, Oxygen, OWN, HGTV, SYFY, NBC, FOX, Travel Channel, A&E, VH1, CMT, ABC Family, Style, Lifetime, The CW, TLC and Discovery.
Abrego was named Banijay’s chairman of the Americas, as well as president/CEO of Endemol Shine Holdings in November. He reports to Banijay CEO Marco Bassetti, following Banijay’s recent acquisition of Endemol Shine Group in a $2.2 billion deal over the summer.
Abrego’s oversight includes Endemol Shine North America, Bunim/Murray Productions, Authentic Entertainment, Truly Original, 51 Minds Entertainment, Stephen David Entertainment and YellowBird US.
“I look forward to working with Cris Abrego, his team and Banijay globally as we shepherd Bunim/Murray into its next successful chapter,” Pizzi said. “Cris is an industry leader, who also worked at BMP during the company’s early years. He understands the uniqueness of the company, the brand and its culture.”