Endemol North America has tapped Christian Sarabia (pictured) to lead 51 Minds Entertainment as president, as exiting co-founder Mark Cronin departs to launch a new prodco.
Sarabia has worked with 51 Minds as an assistant director, supervising producer, executive producer and showrunner on shows including Flavor of Love, The Surreal Life, For the Love of Ray J, Same Name and TI & Tiny: The Family Hustle.
He will lead the prodco, which is behind a number of VH1 celeb-reality shows – including Rock of Love, Lala’s Full Court Life and Marrying the Game – and oversee 51 Minds’ slate of programming and development from the LA office, effective immediately.
Cronin, formerly the MD of the Endemol North America company, is launching Little Wooden Boat Productions, which will create and produce comedic reality television. The newly formed company’s development slate includes a talk show with Diablo Cody, and a number of challenge and game formats.
Cronin will continue to serve as the executive producer on 51 Minds’ series Below Deck for Bravo, Heroes of CosPlay for Syfy, and Mind of a Man for GSN.
“My experience with Endemol has been incredibly enjoyable, and I’m looking forward to continuing to work with them in my new capacity, going back to my roots as an independent producer,” said Cronin.
“Mark is one of the most prolific producers in the unscripted space,” added Cris Abrego, co-founder of 51 Minds Entertainment and co-chairman and co-CEO of Endemol North America. “His creative instincts have been the driving force behind his extraordinary success. I congratulate him on his new venture and I look forward to working with him as a creative and talented producer.
“Christian worked with us at 51 Minds on some of our most successful hits and he has nurtured a number of cable’s highest rated series. I am confident his leadership will help guide 51 Minds to new levels of achievement.”