People/Biz

Exclusive: Lighthearted bolsters development team

Los Angeles-based unscripted TV prodco Lighthearted Entertainment has expanded its executive ranks with the appointment of Ashley Shoener and Christiane Gomez to the company’s development team. Shoener (pictured, left) has stepped into ...
January 17, 2019

Los Angeles-based unscripted TV prodco Lighthearted Entertainment has expanded its executive ranks with the appointment of Ashley Shoener and Christiane Gomez to the company’s development team.

Shoener (pictured, left) has stepped into the role of senior director of development, where she will develop new ideas for Lighthearted’s current project slate. She previously served as director of development at Maverick TV USA, where she produced Chrisley Knows Best, and developed and sold series to E!, TLC, HGTV and Snapchat.

Gomez (right) is Lighthearted’s new manager of development after serving as development associate at Pilgrim Media Group. She additionally has experience in unscripted casting, having helped cast hit shows including Billion Dollar BuyerShark Tank and Married at First Sight.

Both joined the team earlier this month and report to VP of development Mark Neal, and work with director of development Jillian Rosen.

The appointments come after a busy year for Lighthearted. In 2018, the company produced over 50 hours of content, including MTV’s Are You The One?, Facebook Watch’s Relationshipped and OWN’s Ready To Love. The prodco has tripled in size since 2015, with 75 staff members now working out of their 12,500 square-foot offices in Burbank, CA.

“We’re extremely excited to watch Ashley’s creativity, tenacity and dedication elevate each and every project Lighthearted brings to market,” said Lighthearted co-presidents Rob LaPlante and Jeff Spangler, in an exclusive statement to realscreen. “Her addition, along with Christiane’s enthusiasm for developing unscripted shows around strong characters further solidifies our ability to bring commercially viable and entertaining formats to audiences across network, cable television, and streaming platforms.”

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.

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