People/Biz

Back Roads Entertainment opens Austin office, hires MGM alum Bret Calvert

American indie prodco Back Roads Entertainment has officially opened the doors to its new headquarters in Austin, Texas and appointed former MGM executive Bret Calvert as VP of development. As a result, ...
January 13, 2020

American indie prodco Back Roads Entertainment has officially opened the doors to its new headquarters in Austin, Texas and appointed former MGM executive Bret Calvert as VP of development.

As a result, Back Roads will relocate its key staff from its New York office, which will shutter, to the Texan state capital, including manager of development Alexis O’Donnell.

“I was born and raised in Texas, so it’s exciting for me to see how Austin has quickly become a hotbed for talent and creative resources,” said Colby Gaines, executive producer and founder of Back Roads Entertainment, in a statement. “I’m proud to be part of the city’s narrative as it continues to cement its place as a leading town for entertainment across all platforms.”

In his new role, Calvert (pictured) will be tasked with managing the company’s development slate while also creating original formats for broadcast, cable and global streaming platforms.

The executive reports directly to Back Roads CEO Colby Gaines.

Most recently, Calvert served as VP of television at MGM under Mark Burnett and Barry Poznick. There, he was responsible for overseeing all aspects of development and production for a number of acclaimed series, including Fox’s Beat Shazam, CBS’s The World’s Best and TKO, and ABC’s forthcoming Generation Gap.

His additional writing and producing credits over a near two-decade career include formats The Biggest LoserAre You Smarter than a 5th GraderWinsanity, Steve Harvey’s FunderdomeMinute To Win It and American Bible Challenge, among others.

Gaines added: “Bret has a reputation and track record for developing and producing formats for a worldwide audience. He’s the perfect fit to lead our development efforts as we continue to prioritize entertainment formats for our global talent and brand partners.”

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 HMV.com. 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.

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