People/Biz

Dawn Olmstead, George Cheeks to lead Wilshire Studios, UCP

George Cheeks and Dawn Olmstead have been named co-presidents of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment’s unscripted arm, Wilshire Studios as well as Universal Cable Productions. The pair will oversee all creative development and operations at both ...
January 8, 2018

George Cheeks and Dawn Olmstead have been named co-presidents of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment’s unscripted arm, Wilshire Studios as well as Universal Cable Productions.

The pair will oversee all creative development and operations at both studios, reporting to Bonnie Hammer, chairman, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment.

Olmstead (pictured, left) previously served as EVP, development, Universal Cable Productions and Wilshire Studios, where she oversaw a range of scripted and unscripted series in development across the NBCU Cable Entertainment portfolio, as well as for external networks and digital platforms such as Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and YouTube Red.

Since joining UCP in 2014, Olmstead has shepherded development projects such as The Sinner, SYFY’s Happy!, Amazon’s Homecoming and Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy.

At Wilshire Studios, Olmstead partnered with docmakers including Errol Morris, Kirby Dick, Amy Ziering and Marc Smerling. She also drove the studio’s reboot of Mysteries and Scandals, hosted by Soledad O’Brien, for Oxygen.

Prior to joining UCP, Olmstead served as an executive producer on Bravo’s Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce and FOX’s Prison Break, Tru Calling and Point Pleasant. She began her career as a segment producer for Saturday Night Live and The Jon Stewart Show.

In his new position, Cheeks (pictured, right) will also have oversight of business affairs for Cable Entertainment. He will continue his role as president of NBC’s late-night programming, which reports into NBC entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt, but will be stepping down as president of business operations for the network.

Cheeks came to NBCUniversal in 2012 after more than a decade at Viacom Media Networks. There he ran business affairs and served as co-general counsel and head of standards and practices for Viacom’s networks including MTV, Comedy Central, Spike, TV Land, CMT, Logo and VH1.

“I can’t imagine stronger leadership for our studios,” said Hammer, in a statement. “Dawn is one of the most talented creative executives I’ve ever worked with, and George’s business savvy is second to none. Their combined expertise promises to bolster UCP and Wilshire Studios’ already fantastic track record.”

 

 

 

About The Author
Senior staff writer Frederick Blichert comes to realscreen with a background as a journalist and freelance film critic. He has previously written for VICE, Paste Magazine, Senses of Cinema, Xtra, Canadian Cinematographer and elsewhere. He holds a Master of Arts in film studies from Carleton University and a Master of Journalism from the University of British Columbia.

Menu

Search