EXCLUSIVE: After six years at NBC Universal and six at Endemol, reality producer Matt Kunitz is teaming with FremantleMedia North America. Kunitz, creator/executive producer of Wipeout and executive producer of Fear Factor, has signed a multi-year overall deal with the company behind Fox’s American Idol and The X Factor and NBC’s America’s Got Talent to develop and produce new unscripted shows. The pact starts in May. FMNA CEO Cecile Frot-Coutaz noted Kunitz’s track record “of producing shows that families can watch together.” “We are anxious to create big, broad entertainment shows with Matt and give them the kind of support and global infrastructure that we are confident FremantleMedia can provide,” she said.
Although he has formally been at Endemol for the past six years with three back-to-back overall deals, Kunitz’s relationship with the company dates back to 2000. That’s when at NBC he began working on the Endemol-produced NBC reality series Fear Factor, on which he has served as an executive producer from the start. Kunitz also executive produces the current Fear Factor reboot, which delivered solid ratings but also sparked controversy. NBC is yet to make a decision on the future of the series, with a few more original episodes in the can for a likely summer run. “As I close a chapter on 12 great years with Endemol, I’m very excited to start a new relationship with FremantleMedia North America,” Kunitz said. He will be joined at FMNA by his development executive Rebecca Shumsky Quinn. In addition to Wipeout and Fear Factor, Kunitz, repped by ICM and attorney David Tenzer, also executive produced ABC’s 101 Ways To Leave A Game Show and NBC’s Dog Eat Dog. He started off on MTV’s The Real World, where he joined in Season 2 and quickly rose through the ranks to showrunner.