CBS’ Head Of Alternative Chris Castallo To Depart


CBS’ EVP Alternative Programming Chris Castallo is leaving the network after 10 years. He plans to depart when his contract expires in September, a CBS spokesperson said.

The move had been in the works for awhile, and Castallo had been discussing it with CBS Entertainment president Glenn Geller. There is no replacement, with the process of finding one just starting. Castallo plans to stay until a successor is named.

Castallo has headed CBS’ alternative department since August 2013. With four established reality franchises in addition to its stable scripted lineup, CBS traditionally has had very limited shelf space, taking fewer shots in the unscripted space than other networks. During his tenure as head of alternative, Castallo oversaw CBS’ current slate of Survivor, The Amazing Race, Big Brother and Undercover Boss as well as the Big Brother edition for CBS All Access. He shepherded a number of pilots, with three series taking to the screen on his watch, The Briefcase, which had a brief run in summer 2015, Hunted, which is currently airing, and the upcoming Candy Crush game show. CBS just greenlighted another alternative series, Ambulance, about the work of EMTs. Castello also oversaw CBS’ The Case Of: JonBenét Ramsey limited docu series.

Hunted, based on a British format, features civilian pairs trying to avoid detection by professional law enforcement. The series, which serves as a bridge between the two cycles of Survivor, has been a modest but stable ratings performer, averaging 1.2-1.3 for all 7 of its episodes on Wednesday after a good sampling after football on Sunday, and about 5 million viewers.

Castallo joined CBS 2007 from NBC, where he was SVP Drama Development, overseeing development and production of such series as Heroes, Studio 60 and Kidnapped. Previously, he was SVP at Tollin/Robbins Prods, where he was involved in the development and production of Smallville, One Tree Hill and What I Like About You.

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