In the latest round of consolidation on the Viacom side of ViacomCBS, the Kids & Family division run by President Brian Robbins is merging all live-action production under one team, spanning development, current series and studio content. The team will be led by Nickelodeon’s Shauna Phelan and Zack Olin, who will continue to lead Nick’s live-action scripted content and will now also oversee live-action for Awesomeness and third-party platforms. They take over the duties previously held by Awesomeness’ EVP, live-action studios Shelley Zimmerman, who opted to not renew her contract and left the company after five years to pursue another opportunity.
Syrinthia Studer, who joined ViacomCBS in June, will continue to oversee the combined Awesomeness and Nickelodeon’s live-action film studio. Phelan, Olin and Studer all report to Robbins.
“As our content grows in demand from both our own audiences and from third-party platforms, consolidating all scripted live-action under Shauna and Zack streamlines our process to make the biggest creative impact possible,” said Robbins. “Syrinthia, Shauna and Zack are a formidable team of terrific storytellers, and they’re delivering an exciting slate of films and series that have been tailored to the full expanse of demos we serve, from kids to Gen Z.”
Robbins, who was named President of Nickelodeon in 2018, retook control of Awesomeness, which he co-founded, in the November 2019 ViacomCBS restructuring. His professional relationship with Zimmerman goes back two decades to his previous company Tollin/Robbins Prods. where Zimmerman was a development executive, rising to President of Television Development.
“Shelley and I have worked together throughout the years, and she is an incredibly talented and savvy creative executive,” Robbins said. “We wish her the absolute best and are so grateful for her leadership and contributions to Awesomeness’s studio success with hits like To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, PEN15 and Trinkets.”