EXCLUSIVE: 50 Central producer Back Roads Entertainment has hired former MGM exec Bret Calvert to oversee development and moved its HQ to Austin, Texas.
The company, which recently struck a scripted and non-scripted development deal with Shaquille O’Neal, has appointed Calvert as Vice President of Development.
Reporting to founder Colby Gaines, Calvert will be charged with overseeing development and creating original formats for broadcast, cable and streaming platforms. He was previously Vice President of Television at MGM under Mark Burnett and Barry Poznick where he worked on programming including Fox’s Beat Shazam, CBS’ The World’s Best and forthcoming ABC series Generation Gap. He has also worked on shows including The Biggest Loser, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader, Winsanity, Steve Harvey’s Funderdome, Minute to Win It and American Bible Challenge.
Gaines said, “Bret has a reputation and track record for developing and producing formats for a worldwide audience. He’s the perfect fit to lead our development efforts as we continue to prioritize entertainment formats for our global talent and brand partners.”
Separately, Back Roads, which also produces MTV’s Joking Off and Cooking Channel’s Big Bad BBQ Brawl and recently partnered with Wendy Williams on a comedy special, is launching a new headquarters in Austin, Texas with key staff including Manager of Development Alexis O’Donnell moving.
“I was born and raised in Texas, so it’s exciting for me to see how Austin has quickly become a hotbed for talent and creative resources. I’m proud to be part of the city’s narrative as it continues to cement its place as a leading town for entertainment across all platforms,” said Gaines.