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Toby Gorman Named President of Universal Television Alternative Studio


Producer and executive Toby Gorman has been named president of Universal Television Alternative Studio (UTAS).

Gorman will report to Meredith Ahr, who was promoted last fall to president of NBC Entertainment’s alternative and reality group. As president of UTAS, Gorman will oversee key operations of the burgeoning studio, including development, domestic sales strategy and creative affairs across a diverse slate of unscripted programming. In addition, he will collaborate closely across all areas of production, casting, business affairs and international commercial development for the studio.

Gorman will take the helm of UTAS as the business enters its third year. In addition to the nine announced series for NBC, he will oversee a domestic sales strategy that includes selling content to every major network and streaming platform. He will also forge key production partnerships, building on the studio’s current off-network slate that includes In Search of (History), The Biggest Loser (USA) and Blind Date (Bravo), as well as a dozen other projects in various stages of development and production. Gorman’s purview will include cultivating the studio’s more than 30 overall production deals, as well as development in the works with key talent, including Amy Poehler, Jennifer Lopez and Jimmy Fallon.

Most recently, Gorman was interim CEO of Magical Elves, where he oversaw the production company’s development and current series in addition to maintaining his role as president of entertainment at A. Smith & Co. Productions. Throughout his tenure with A. Smith and Magical Elves, Gorman acted as executive producer on the reboot of National Geographic’s Brain Games, hosted by Keegan-Michael Key; FOX’s competition series Mental Samurai, hosted by Rob Lowe; and NBC’s The Titan Games with Dwayne Johnson. Gorman also served as executive producer on Death by Magic, a Netflix series that follows the British magician DMC as he attempts dangerous stunts that have cost past magicians their lives.

Prior to A. Smith and Magical Elves, Gorman held the role of executive VP of alternative programming at FremantleMedia North America (FMNA). In this role, Gorman was charged with developing and launching the company’s entertainment programming and creating formats that traveled globally. While at FMNA, Gorman oversaw the reimagination of the classic game shows To Tell the Truth and Match Game, leading them into production with ABC. Gorman also launched Mat Franco’s Got Magic, which saw the America’s Got Talent season nine winner return to NBC for a prime-time special that followed the magician’s journey as he prepared to headline his own Las Vegas show.

Prior to joining FMNA, Gorman was the co-executive producer and showrunner on NBC’s Hollywood Game Night and The Winner Is, as well as on the NBC pilot Surprise Surprise and the FOX series Mobbed. For FMNA, Gorman served as executive producer and showrunner for the dating pilot Take Me Out for ABC, executive producer of NBC’s Celebrity Family Feud and as supervising producer for seasons eight and nine of FOX’s American Idol, earning two shared Emmy Award nominations for outstanding reality-competition program.

“We have an incredibly ambitious growth plan for Universal Television Alternative Studio, and Toby is exactly who we want at the helm during this defining time,” said Ahr. “I have witnessed him in many roles over the years, and time and again he has proven to be a precise developer, a creative producer, and a sharp executive. As the breadth of our content and our partnerships throughout the industry continue to expand, Toby’s deep expertise, coupled with the equally important fact that he is one of the most respected executives in the field, make him the perfect fit to lead the studio into its next chapter.”

About Alison Skilton

Alison Skilton is an associate editor of World Screen. She can be reached at


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