People/Biz

Ethan Lewis boards Higher Ground as SVP, unscripted

Higher Ground, the content production company established by Barack and Michelle Obama, has hired former SMAC Entertainment exec Ethan Lewis for its unscripted and non-fiction team. Lewis takes the role of SVP, ...
January 21, 2022

Higher Ground, the content production company established by Barack and Michelle Obama, has hired former SMAC Entertainment exec Ethan Lewis for its unscripted and non-fiction team.

Lewis takes the role of SVP, unscripted and non-fiction, and will report to Higher Ground’s head of film and television, Tonia Davis.

At SMAC, which was founded by Michael Strahan and Constance Schwartz-Morini, Lewis served as head of unscripted and branded content. While there, he sold and produced projects like HBO’s The Cost of Winning; season two of ESPN’s More Than an Athlete and 30 for 30: Deion’s Double Play, also for the cable sports net; Wiz Khalifa: Behind the Cam for Apple Music; and most recently, the upcoming Bishop Sycamore high school football scandal doc for HBO with Adam McKay’s Hyperobject Industries, Matador Content and The Athletic.

Previously, Lewis held positions at WME, Adaptive Studios and The Story Lab.

“Ethan is a seasoned producer who understands how to identify and tell captivating unscripted stories,” said Higher Ground’s Davis in a statement. “Experienced with both networks and brands, Ethan is passionate, savvy, and forward-thinking. As we look to build out our unscripted slate, we know Ethan will make an excellent addition to the Higher Ground team.”

Among the prodco’s upcoming non-fiction projects is its first natural history project, Our Great National Parks.

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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