All3Media-owned prodco Optomen Productions has hired The Four co-creator and former Armoza Formats executive Elwin De Groot to oversee its newly launched entertainment division based in Los Angeles.
As SVP of entertainment for the newly minted Optomen Entertainment, De Groot (pictured) will be responsible for creating and developing original formats for broadcast networks and OTT channels.
De Groot will report directly to Optomen president Maria Silver and work closely alongside Ricky Kelehar, SVP of development, who is relocating from New York to Los Angeles to focus on the new label. Kelehar, in addition, will continue to oversee the company’s New York-based development team.
The LA hub will prioritize Optomen’s focus on entertainment formats and game shows, both for domestic production and global distribution.
De Groot had previously served as senior creative director at Israeli producer-distributor Armoza Formats, where he developed and produced original and third party content, creating and co-creating more than 13 international formats that have aired in more than 30 countries.
Most recently, he co-created Armoza’s singing competition The Final Four, which sold into 15 territories and airs on Fox in the U.S. as The Four, and was a co-developer and executive producer on NBC’s primetime entertainment format I Can Do That and ITV game show Babushka.
Further credits in De Groot’s repertoire include The People’s Choice, The Foodies, Sex Tape, The Virgins, and Guys in Disguise.
Prior to Armoza, De Groot was a television format creative at John de Mol’s Talpa Media, where he worked on projects as Beat de Mol and The Pain Game, and created the fashion competition format Beat the Top Designer. He also served as a creative and English copywriter in Endemol International’s development department.
“Elwin is a proven talent with a strong track record of creating successful formats for a global audience,” said Silver in a statement. “Well respected by his peers and network executives, he’s perfectly positioned to help create a new entertainment division as we target the major broadcasters and prioritize primetime entertainment formats.”
Optomen’s U.S. office has produced more than 15 series and 160-plus hours of non-fiction programming in the last year alone. Its credits include Animal Planet’s Monsters Inside Me, Nat Geo Wild’s When Sharks Attack and an upcoming Hawaii-set home renovation show for HGTV.