- Monday, Nov. 13, 2017
- LOS ANGELES
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) has appointed Michael Wright as president of the premium pay television network EPIX. Wright will begin his new role on December 4, working out of MGM’s headquarters in Los Angeles.
Reporting to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. chairman/CEO Gary Barber, Wright will shepherd EPIX into its next phase of expanded original programming, leading creative and marketing efforts. Business operations will continue to be overseen by Monty Sarhan, EVP and general manager for EPIX. Sarhan will also work closely with Chris Ottinger, MGM’s president, Worldwide Television Distribution and Acquisitions, on all distribution matters.
Wright was previously the CEO of Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners, a content creation company he helped launch in 2015. Under Wright’s leadership, the company most recently released the hit films The Girl on the Train, Office Christmas Party and A Dog’s Purpose, and prepared the upcoming films The Post, Ready Player One, and The House with a Clock in its Walls, starring Jack Black and Cate Blanchett. Prior to joining DreamWorks Studios in 2014, Wright was president, head of programming for TBS, TNT, and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). During Wright’s tenure at Turner, he led TNT and TBS to the top of the cable charts for 10 straight years. Wright programmed some of the biggest hits on cable television, with commercial and award-winning success across all the networks, including the record setting and acclaimed series The Closer, Into the West, Southland, Men of a Certain Age and Falling Skies for TNT, and Conan, My Boys, Cougar Town and Angie Tribeca for TBS. For TCM, Wright oversaw the development and production of the Emmy nominated documentary Moguls and Movie Stars: The History of Hollywood, the acclaimed TCM: A Night at the Movies franchise, and the Emmy-winning AFI: Lifetime Achievement Award specials.
Barber said of Wright, “His television industry experience and creative instincts are the perfect combination to help us execute on our original content strategy for EPIX and drive additional value creation for MGM overall.”
Wright said, “EPIX, under MGM’s ownership, is strongly positioned to excel as a provider of engaging, entertaining original content. This is an exciting time in our business, and I’m looking forward to working with Gary, the EPIX and MGM teams, to bring the best storytelling voices to the network and move EPIX into the next phase of its growth.”
Earlier this year, MGM completed the transaction to acquire the balance of EPIX, adding a premier distribution platform to its growing pipeline of new film and television content and robust library. MGM Television is currently in production in Montreal on its second series for EPIX, The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair, based on the bestselling novel by Joël Dicker, starring Patrick Dempsey in his return to television, Ben Schnetzer, Virginia Madsen and Damon Wayans Jr. Early next year, MGM Television will begin production on the second season of Get Shorty, based in part on the 1990 best-selling novel of the same name by Elmore Leonard, starring Ray Romano and Chris O’Dowd. EPIX programming also includes the critically acclaimed series Berlin Station and Golden Globe nominated Graves, award winning docu-series America Divided with executive producers Norman Lear and Jesse Williams, Danica, about racing superstar Danica Patrick, plus thousands of movies including big franchises James Bond, Rocky, and Star Trek.