EXCLUSIVE: Eli Holzman has been upped to president of Studio Lambert USA, running the U.S. operations of the London-based reality production company behind CBS’ reality hit Undercover Boss. Holzman, who has more than a decade of TV executive experience, joined Studio Lambert in 2008 when the company’s chief executive, top British reality format creator and executive Stephen Lambert, recruited him to launch and lead the U.S. subsidiary of Lambert’s eponymous All3Media-backed production shingle. The duo started off working out of Holzman’s Venice apartment, and their first collaboration was Undercover Boss, which launched to 38 million viewers after the Super Bowl in January and went on to deliver big ratings for CBS in its midseason run as well as earn an Emmy nomination. Holzman, who previously served as EVP, first signed on for 2 years not sure if he would like working with Lambert. “I turned out I love it,” said Holzman, who has inked a new multi-year contract and has ownership in the company. As for his (not undercover) boss, “the results have exceeded my highest hopes,” Lambert said.
Holzman’s first foray into reality TV was at Miramax Television where he helped to create and launch the company’s biggest unscripted series, Project Greenlight and Project Runway. He then took the helm of Ashton Kutcher’s Katalyst Television in 2005 where he developed Beauty and the Geek. He spent a few years as an independent producer, creating and executive producing such series as Stylista for The CW, The Block for G4 and, most recently, Bravo’s Work of Art, before joining Studio Lambert.
In addition to Undercover Boss, Studio Lambert’s current slate includes docu-comedy Mel B: It’s a Scary World for Style, Southern Fried Stings for TruTV, Fairy Jobmother for Lifetime and Three in a Bed for another cable network. In addition to Holzman, several other Studio Lambert execs have been promoted: Undercover Boss producer Aaron Saidman has been named named VP development & current programming, Kevin Bartel has been upped to director, development and current programming, and Amy Hussey to SVP production.