People/Biz

TV trailblazer Mike Darnell to keynote Realscreen West

Realscreen is pleased to announce that in addition to being honored as an inductee into the Realscreen Awards Hall of Fame, television trailblazer Mike Darnell will also be featured as one ...
May 5, 2017

Realscreen is pleased to announce that in addition to being honored as an inductee into the Realscreen Awards Hall of Fame, television trailblazer Mike Darnell will also be featured as one of the exclusive keynote speakers headlining the upcoming industry conference in Santa Monica.

As president of unscripted and alternative television at Warner Bros., Darnell runs three Warner Bros. companies — Warner Horizon Unscripted Television, Telepictures Productions and Shed Media — and currently oversees more than 35 series in broadcast, cable and syndication. Darnell’s division produces such primetime hits as Little Big Shots starring Steve Harvey (NBC), plus the upcoming spin-off Little Big Shots: Forever Young; the top unscripted series, The Voice  (NBC); the longest-running relationship franchise with The BachelorThe Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise (ABC); and First Dates (NBC). In addition, Darnell’s division is producing the primetime revival of Love Connection on FOX, hosted by Andy Cohen, as well as NBC’s upcoming Genius Junior, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, and the Ellen DeGeneres–hosted Ellen’s Game of Games, among others.

Before Warner Bros., Darnell cemented his status as one of the most influential executives in television history through his 19-year career at Fox Broadcasting Company, where, as president of alternative programming for the network, he was responsible for hundreds of series and specials, including Hell’s KitchenMasterChefSo You Think You Can DanceKitchen NightmaresAre You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?Temptation IslandThe Simple LifeJoe MillionaireFamily Guy and, of course, the mega-hit American Idol.

In this special keynote conversation, which is scheduled to take place at 3 p.m. on June 7, Darnell will be joined by longtime friend and fellow unscripted television veteran Mark Itkin. Over the course of a 34-year career, the veteran WME agent whom Darnell regards as “simply the best in the business,” packaged such staples as The Real WorldProject RunwayDeal or No Deal? and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, and was also a trailblazing force when it came to bringing international formats such as Big Brother and Hell’s Kitchen to the U.S. After retiring from the agency business in 2015, Itkin recently announced that he is joining the board of Santa Monica-based streaming television company TV4 as a senior advisor.

Realscreen West takes place from June 6-8, 2017 at the Fairmont Miramar in Santa Monica, CA.

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.

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