Blumhouse Television has appointed Emmy-winning producer Gretchen Palek as its head of alternative.
In her new role Palek (pictured) will spearhead Blumhouse TV’s unscripted expansion, developing a new slate of projects that combine the Blumhouse brand with non-fiction genres and formats. She reports to Blumhouse TV’s president, Chris McCumber.
Palek joins Blumhouse TV after eight years at ITV America, where she was most recently co-president of Leftfield Pictures. Palek’s move to Blumhouse follows the recently-announced exclusive overall deal for unscripted television between Blumhouse and ITV America to create suspense-driven non-fiction content.
The hiring is being described as a “uniquely collaborative arrangement” that will see Palek continue to work with her former ITV America colleagues on developing new projects and programming. Palek’s hiring also comes a few months after Emmy-winning producer Mary Lisio resigned from Blumhouse TV, where she was EVP of alternative and non-scripted programming.
During Palek’s time at Leftfield Pictures, she oversaw development and production across a slate that included hits like Alone and Pawn Stars for History, ESPN’s award-winning 30 for 30: Year of the Scab, NatGeo’s Brain Surgery Live and HGTV’s upcoming Table Wars with Martha Stewart, as well as upcoming series for Peacock and Hulu.
Prior to her stint at Leftfield, Palek was senior vice president of casting and talent for ITV America, where she earned multiple Emmys for her part in casting for Netflix Queer Eye‘s iconic “Fab Five” and the show’s “heroes” cast. Before joining ITV, Palek was a casting and talent executive at Discovery Channel.
“This is one of those rare scenarios where the planets just aligned. With our new unscripted pact, Gretchen can hit the ground running, leading the stellar Alternative team at Blumhouse into an exciting new chapter while continuing to collaborate with the group at ITV America, where she’s been a respected creative. It’s a seamless transition for all of us,” said McCumber and ITV America CEO David George in a joint statement.
Added Palek of the move: “This is an extraordinary opportunity to launch a creative endeavor with the incredible minds at Blumhouse, leaning into a style of storytelling I’m passionate about and working with insanely talented people, including my friends at ITV America. I look forward to jumping in at Blumhouse and to the work ahead with Chris and the entire team.”
Photo: ITV America