EXCLUSIVE: Cris Abrego, the longtime Banijay U.S. chief who recently set up his own production group with Eva Longoria, is expected to become the new boss of the TV Academy.
Deadline understands Abrego is the frontrunner for the position. The election to name the next boss is set to be held next week but sources have told Deadline that Abrego is already being talked about by some as the next Chairman and CEO of the Primetime Emmys operator.
He is expected to replace Frank Scherma, the co-founder of RadicalMedia, who was “termed out” after running the TV Academy for the past four years.
Abrego’s appointment would further raise the profile on unscripted television at the Emmys as he is the first Television Academy chair to come from the reality TV world.
His appointment is not a major surprise as Abrego has been involved with the Television Academy for a number of years. He has served as Chair of the Television Academy Foundation, becoming the first Latino to hold the office, and is a member of the Executive Committee for the TV, which made him a prime contender to succeed Scherma, who has run the organization since 2019 and was elected for a second term in 2021.
While Abrego has some scripted experience during his time running Endemol Shine North America’s parent company in the States, he’s very much a reality guy at heart. He came up through shows like The Real World and Road Rules before launching 51 Minds Entertainment, which produced series including The Surreal Life, Flavor of Love and Rock of Love. Last month, he launched Hyphenate Media Group with Longoria, where he is CEO, a Banijay-backed venture that will develop and produce its own slate as well as invest in creator-led companies.
He remains Chairman of Americas for Banijay.
The Emmys are set to air on Fox on January 15, 2024, pushed due to the writers and actors strikes. They will be preceded by the Creative Emmys the weekend before.