Emmy and NAACP award-winning producer Craig Piligian has inked a new long-term agreement with Lionsgate that will see the veteran producer expand his purview to become president of Lionsgate’s non-fiction television business while continuing as CEO of Pilgrim Media Group.
Under the new agreement, Piligian has also been elevated to chair of Pilgrim Media Group.
In his role as president of Lionsgate Nonfiction Television, a new position, Piligian will oversee the company’s unscripted TV business, developing new non-fiction series and managing partnerships with unscripted TV producers.
Piligian has been a major force in non-fiction programming for almost three decades. An original executive producer of the seminal CBS hit Survivor, Piligian began his career in the news business, then went on to produce some of the first reality programming. He founded Pilgrim Films & Television (now Pilgrim Media Group) in 1997.
Pilgrim Media Group, in which Lionsgate acquired a majority stake in 2015, currently has nearly 20 current series for major network partners. Its slate includes the upcoming The Ultimate Surfer (ABC), The Ultimate Fighter (ESPN+), My Big Fat Fabulous Life (TLC) and the Street Outlaws (Discovery) and Wicked Tuna (National Geographic) franchises. Piligian has also produced critically acclaimed documentaries such as Soufra, Tre Maison Dasan, The Boy Band Con: The Lou Pearlman Story and Giving Voice.
“Craig is a great partner, a savvy strategist and a leading creative force in the unscripted world,” said Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer in a statement. “This is an opportunity to continue simplifying our business by bringing all of our unscripted operations together under Craig’s oversight while enabling him to continue overseeing Pilgrim’s world-class non-fiction brand.”
“Pilgrim is a powerhouse in unscripted content so we’re fortunate to have the experience and expertise of its leader as we continue to fill our nonfiction programming pipeline,” added Lionsgate Television Group chairman Kevin Beggs. “We look forward to drawing upon Craig’s wealth of creative relationships in building our unscripted business alongside Pilgrim as a major player in the non-fiction space.”
“It’s a pleasure to work with Kevin Beggs and Sandra Stern, and I look forward to collaborating with the rest of their television team in developing premium non-fiction programming for Lionsgate,” said Piligian. “I also welcome the opportunity to continue partnering with Jon Feltheimer, a one-of-a-kind CEO who has created an entrepreneurial and collaborative culture at Lionsgate in which Pilgrim has been empowered to flourish.”
Alice Dickens-Koblin, who stepped in from Starz to ramp up Lionsgate’s unscripted business, will continue her role as Starz SVP and head of unscripted television for the global premium streaming service. She will also continue to lead Lionsgate’s 1619 Project unscripted content based on materials from the Pulitzer Prize-winning 1619 Project, including the recently announced documentary series for Hulu to which Oprah Winfrey, The New York Times and Roger Ross Williams are attached.
Lionsgate’s unscripted television roster includes House of Ho on HBO Max, Selling Sunset and Kevin Hart: Don’t F**k This Up on Netflix and De Viaje con Los Derbez on Pantaya.
Piligian was a 2015 Realscreen Awards Hall of Fame inductee.