First Ever Reality Day at Annual NATPE Conference

October 27, 2014

NATPE/Content First Dedicates a Day to Reality 2:37 PM PST 10/27/2014 by Nicole Behnam ABC The show Shark Tank will be the subject of a case study at NATPE/Content First The market and conference in January will include panels, pitch…

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    With the world as its market, The Gurin Company is one of the premier independent creators, producers and distributors of non-scripted television, focusing on light entertainment, game shows, live events and factual.

    Despite its proximity to Hollywood, The Gurin Company is just as likely to produce a pilot or series in Europe, Asia or Latin America. In addition to its own original development program, the company seeks out and licenses formats and franchises for production and global distribution. And while The Gurin Company is one of the few independent production companies to consistently place projects on all five US broadcast networks and many of the top-tier cable outlets, it regularly partners with networks and format creators from around the world to produce shows for distribution overseas and domestically.

    This global approach to content creation and execution has manifested numerous successes for the company. THE SINGING BEE, an original creation, debuted on NBC in 2007 and went on to become one of the more successful international formats, appearing in nearly 35 countries. This was followed by a successful five year run on CMT with a country-themed version. There was also the Chuck Woolery-hosted game show LINGO, which The Gurin Company initially developed in The Netherlands, but went on to become one of GSN’s all-time hit shows, airing on the popular US cable channel for six seasons.

    The company has been involved with numerous other internationally-acclaimed formats, bringing the BBC’s WEAKEST LINK to America for successful runs on both NBC and in syndication; bringing TEST THE NATION to FOX on the heels of its launch in The Netherlands; discovering Japan’s “Dragon’s Den” and bringing it to America, where it has become ABC’s Emmy-nominated SHARK TANK; and launching an American version of Germany’s long-running prime time hit “Wetten Dass?” on ABC where it became WANNA BET? (just to name a few).

    The Gurin Company juggles a development and production slate that spans the globe. It maintains primary creative joint ventures with broadcasters and production companies in Japan, Canada, the UK, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Scandinavia, Israel, Italy, Spain, and Latin America.

    One of a handful of companies that effortlessly moves between series and specials, The Gurin Company loves live television, and has produced Miss Universe and Miss USA for 8 years on NBC, and New Year’s Eve Live on FOX for 3 years. The company has also produced the prestigious non-televised Television Academy Honors for the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for the past six years, and the Television Academy Hall of Fame for the past two years.

    Founded in 1997, The Gurin Company compliments its strong executive and development team with a host of producers, writers and directors with whom it works on a regular basis. The Gurin Company regularly teams with leading Hollywood talent, having discovered and launching the careers of numerous hosts and correspondents.

  • Phil Gurin


    Phil Gurin and The Gurin Company have been creating, acquiring, selling and producing entertainment programs all over the world.  Responsible for executive producing and writing thousands of hours of television across multiple genres including entertainment, game, live events, music, dance, hidden camera, comedy, stunt, clip shows, docu soaps and formatted reality, Gurin’s shows have aired on every major U.S. broadcast network, many cable networks and in over 100 countries around the world.


    Gurin recently produced the second cycle of The CW’s most successful game show OH SIT! (winner of the 2013 Rose D’Or Award for Best Game Show), the comedy reality series DANCING FOOLS on ABC Family, the fourth season of CMT’s all-time #1 original THE SINGING BEE (previously on NBC), and the fourth season of ABC’s SHARK TANK, for which Gurin received a 2012 and 2013 Emmy nomination.   He is currently producing CMT’s first daily series WIN, LOSE OR PAWN, the upcoming TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES for truTV, and DATE MY (SOCIAL) LIFE for E! Channel.   He has numerous shows in development in the US, the UK and all around the world.


    Gurin began his career as a writer on MTV's REMOTE CONTROL and Nickelodeon's DOUBLE DARE, MAKE THE GRADE and WILD AND CRAZY KIDS.  He worked for more than 70 companies as a development executive and as a freelance writer/director/producer, before establishing his own company in 1997.


    He went on to produce CBS' CANDID CAMERA in primetime for four years, which was followed by an extensive run of shows on NBC, including TWENTY ONE, WEAKEST LINK, THE SINGING BEE, MISS UNIVERSE, MISS USA and MISS TEEN USA.  He wrote BEFORE THEY WERE STARS (ABC), NIGHT-RAP (HBO) and he produced six seasons of GSN's all-time #1 original program LINGO.




    Gurin served for 4 years on the Board of Directors for NATPE (National Association of Television and Programming Executives), and is currently on the international Board of Directors for FRAPA (Format Recognition and Protection Association), and is President of THE COPPER CLUB (The Council of Professional Producers Earning Rights).  He developed and produces the prestigious TELEVISION ACADEMY HONORS for the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, along with their annual TV ACADEMY HALL OF FAME.   In 2013, Gurin served on the jury for the MIP Formats International Pitch in Cannes, France, and has appeared on numerous international panels discussing formats, distribution and international co-production.

    Ashleigh Di Tonto

    Director of Development

    Ashleigh is a proud Jersey Italian girl who got her start in the TV biz scheduling PPV (yes, that kind of PPV). Since her father spent his hard earned money on a good education at Boston University, it wasn’t long before she outgrew this position and was offered a chance to move to Hollywood. She took a job as the assistant to the EVP of Programming at E! and it was goodbye Girls Gone Wild and hello Girls Next Door.

    After a short time of stalking Ryan Seacrest, she then took an offer to work at TLC in Development. Over her four years there, Ashleigh learned the inner workings of a network. She also learned there is no limit to the amount of families who think they are the next Jon & Kate.

    Now at The Gurin Company, Ashleigh could not be more excited to be on the other side of things. Being the buyer has been fun and all, but it’s time to get her hands dirty.

    Rita Doumar

    Executive in Charge of Productioln

    Nicole Zeidman

    Executive Assistant

    Maddie Brooks

    Office Assistant

    Nicole Gonzalez

    Production Manager

    Nicole began her pursuit for a career in television back at California State University, Sacramento. With a degree in Digital Media she found out quickly that in order to obtain a job in television, Los Angeles was where she had to be. She took a leap of faith and made the move to Los Angeles, taking temp jobs relating to entertainment, and anything that would make connections to get her foot in the door. Finally landing her first Production Assistant job, back when there was no GPS, smart phones, or back up cameras in 15 pass vans, (PAs have it so easy now) she wowed them with her common sense, and love for organization and efficiency. She moved up the ladder pretty fast as a Production Coordinator and then a Production Manager.


    Through her career she's had experience working on many different types of shows, from game shows, to adventure shows, clip shows, and docu-dramas. Nicole has continued her love for production for over seven years now and enjoys incorporating technology and innovation to improve her job. Now, with The Gurin Company, she hopes to continue her dream working on new and exciting projects, and of course, making a lasting impression.

    Javier Winnik

    Head of Production

    With over 20 years of production experience, Javier is a well-respected television producer who joins The Gurin Company as Head of Production. Emmy nominated, Javier has worked in almost all genres of television. His expertise is working on big budget, extremely challenging productions (such as Treasure Hunters and Q’Viva: The Chosen), but is also adept at stretching the tightest of budgets. His credits include Last Comic Standing, NBC’s New Year’s Eve Live with Carson Daly, The Marriage Ref, and Dog Eat Dog.

    Joining The Gurin Company has been in the works for over 10 years after Javier and Phil worked on Twenty-One, The Weakest Link and then again on The Singing Bee. He is very excited to finally be a part of the team and sees a very bright and busy future for the company.

    Javier married his high school sweetheart, Genette. They have been married for over twenty years and have two wonderful children. Sean is in his sophomore year at Wesleyan University where he is majoring in Neuroscience and Behavior. Allison, a high school sophomore, is now driving and is rarely spotted at home.

    Matt Barker

    Line Producer

    With a wealth of varying production experience, Matt joins TGC to further his passion for producing quality entertainment for the masses. Born and raised in Los Angeles, he graduated from Chico State where he gained knowledge from working at the local NBC news affiliate in operating live studio camera and mixing audio for broadcast.

    Flash forward to the present, where he’s now responsible for keeping large-scale television productions on budget and on schedule. His recent credits include Richard Hammond’s Crash Course, Betty White’s 90th Birthday Special, Last Comic Standing, and New Year’s Eve w/ Green Day.

    Brandon Wahl

    Production Manager

    Brandon Wahl has been working in television production for just over 10 years, and is excited to continue the dream that began in a small California farming town as a teenager. Brandon has worked on a wide variety of projects including Super Bowls, New Years Eve specials, multi-cam stage shows, and reality television. He currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife, whom he met in 8th grade.

    Brennan Huntington


    Native to Southern California, two-time Cable Ace Nominee, Executive Producer/show runner, Brennan Huntington, has over twenty years of producing experience and has been running shows for over Seventeen years for production companies and cablers.

    Huntington’s prolific body of work encompasses game, reality, clip, commercials and documentary projects, and has developed and produced thousands of hours of television including over 35 television series – producing such game show classics as SHOP ‘TIL YOU DROP and the children’s hit LEGENDS OF THE HIDDEN TEMPLE. He has recently completed several contemporary shows such as THE SINGING BEE hosted by Melissa Peterman, STARFACE hosted by Danny Bonaduce, and over 300 episodes of the nationally syndicated game show, MERV GRIFFIN’S CROSSWORDS.

    Huntington currently has a new docu-soap series – SADDLE RANCH – that he co-created, airing on VH-1.

    Alex Chauvin


    Alex Chauvin is at least partially to blame for hundreds of hours of television, working as a writer, producer, and consultant on dozens of projects over the last decade.

    After graduating from the University of Southern California, Alex worked primarily in unscripted and alternative programming, where he wrote, developed, and produced a wide variety of television with an emphasis in game and competition formats. In addition to working with some of the biggest producers in town, his development and consulting services have also been utilized internationally, from Asia to Europe to South America.

    Like many Angelenos in the entertainment industry, Alex grew up in New York but traded humid summers and freezing winters for a convertible and the opportunity to prove all those hours he spent in front of the TV as a kid weren’t wasted.




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