Summit ’19: World of Wonder’s Bailey and Barbato to receive David Lyle Maverick Award

For its 2019 Awards program at the Realscreen Summit in New Orleans, Realscreen is presenting the David Lyle Maverick Award, in memory of the legendary unscripted entertainment executive and friend ...
January 7, 2019

For its 2019 Awards program at the Realscreen Summit in New Orleans, Realscreen is presenting the David Lyle Maverick Award, in memory of the legendary unscripted entertainment executive and friend that we lost in 2017. The award is designed to honor producers of innovative programming who challenge the status quo with their slates.

Realscreen is happy to announce that the honorees are Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey, co-founders of World of Wonder, the award-winning, multi-platform production company behind RuPaul’s Drag Race, the Million Dollar Listing franchise, Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures, and over 20 years of groundbreaking unscripted, scripted and documentary content.

Bailey and Barbato have established their status as trailblazers in Hollywood by creating provocative docs and series that give a voice to outsiders and marginalized communities. They are the driving force behind World of Wonder’s continued commitment to innovation, building a robust multi-platform distribution model and massively successful events business in addition to their traditional TV and film productions. Together they created RuPaul’s DragCon; the bi-coastal, bi-annual and family friendly event is the world’s largest drag convention, seeing nearly 100,000 attendees last year.

World of Wonder’s revolutionary television series RuPaul’s Drag Race, for which Barbato and Bailey serve as executive producers, received 12 Emmy Award nominations and five wins in 2018. In its 10th season, it continued to break ratings records and dominate the pop culture landscape. Drag Race has been renewed for an 11th season, and has recently expanded with the next international iteration, RuPaul’s Drag Race UK. Other successful series franchises created by Bailey and Barbato include Million Dollar Listing on Bravo and Big Freedia on Fuse.

Barbato and Bailey’s passion for telling fascinating real life stories touches everything they produce and direct. Recent projects include Menendez: Blood Brothers starring Courtney Love on Lifetime, which they co-directed; Gender Revolution: A Journey with Katie Couric on National Geographic, and the Emmy-winning documentary Out of Iraq.

Barbato and Bailey are Sundance veterans, known for their often controversial and subversive projects including Inside Deep Throat, Becoming Chaz, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, Party Monster, and the Emmy-nominated Mapplethorpe: Look At The Pictures, all of which first premiered at the festival.

At the forefront of World of Wonder is Barbato and Bailey’s commitment to creating disruptive content for a new tribe of viewers, cultivating a unique direct-to-consumer relationship. This includes the launch of SVOD service WOW Presents Plus, which offers a slate of original programming as well as WOW favorites from the archives. WOW Presents Plus is available in every territory worldwide. WOW Presents Plus content includes UNHhhh with Trixie and Katya, Untucked, ICONIC with Brad Goreski, Monet’s Herstory X Change, Bobbin’ Around with Bob The Drag Queen, animated series Drag Tots, and more — with new content arriving regularly.

The recipient of the David Lyle Maverick Award was chosen by a panel of industry executives and in cooperation with the David Lyle Estate. Executives within the panel included John Ford, general manager, NPACT; Elli Hakami, co-founder, Talos Films; Howard T. Owens, founder and co-CEO, Propagate Content; and Jill Schwartz, creative consultant.

Join us as we present this special award to Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato at the Realscreen Awards, taking place Tuesday, January 29 at the Sheraton New Orleans.

For more information on the Realscreen Summit, click here.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.