Veteran producer and executive Toby Gorman has been named President of Universal Television Alternative Studio. Gorman, who most recently served as interim CEO of Magical Elves as well as President of Entertainment at A. Smith & Co Productions, fills the position left open when Meredith Ahr was promoted last fall to President of NBC Entertainment’s Alternative and Reality Group. Reporting into Ahr, Gorman will oversee key studio operations, including development, domestic sales strategy and creative affairs. In addition, he will collaborate closely across all areas of production, casting, business affairs and international commercial development for the studio.
“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.”
More from Deadline
- 'Top Chef' Producer Magical Elves Names Casey Kriley & Jo Sharon As Co-CEOs
- Songwriting Competition 'Songland' Gets NBC Series Order; Audrey Morrissey, Dave Stewart & Adam Levine Exec Produce
- Tyra Banks Inks First-Look Deal With Universal TV
Gorman will take the helm of the studio as the business enters its third year, and continues to grow at a rapid rate. 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 also will include cultivating the more than 30 producer overall 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 served as executive producer on the reboot of National Geographic’s Brain Games, Fox’s competition series Mental Samurai, and NBC’s The Titan Games. Gorman also served as executive producer on Netflix series Death by Magic.
Prior to A. Smith and Magical Elves, Gorman was Executive Vice President of Alternative Programming at FremantleMedia North America. While at FMNA, Gorman oversaw the reimagination of game shows To Tell the Truth and Match Game into production with ABC, and launched Mat Franco’s Got Magic. Gorman also 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 Fox’s American Idol (seasons eight and nine), earning two shared Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program.
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.
Previously, Gorman was series producer and showrunner for FremantleMedia in his native UK for All Stars Family Fortunes (ITV1) and Grease ls the Word (ITV1).