John Hesling Named Fox Alternative Entertainment Chief

EXCLUSIVE: Fox Alternative Entertainment, the studio arm of the broadcaster, has a new boss.

Former Maverick USA President John Hesling will run the studio; it comes after Deadline revealed that Allison Wallach, who previously ran the studio, was named President, Unscripted Programming at Fox after Rob Wade was promoted to CEO.

Hesling becomes Head of Fox Alternative Entertainment and EVP, and reports to Wallach.

Other changes among the unscripted staff include a new role for Spike Van Briesen, who is moving from the network to the studio side of the business. Van Briesen, who has exec produced Fox series including Gordon Ramsay’s 24 Hours to Hell and Back and Kristin Davis-fronted sperm donor series Labor of Love, is now SVP, Current, Fox Alternative Entertainment.

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Van Briesen will report to Hesling, as will LA-based execs Leela Pon, SVP, Content and Staci Sarkin, SVP, Production.

Hesling spent four years running Chrisley Knows Best producer Maverick TV USA. He joined the All3Media-backed company in 2017 and oversaw the hit USA Network reality series and its multiple spinoffs before the stars of the show were sentenced to prison. He also scored Netflix cooking show American Barbecue Showdown.

Before joining Maverick in 2017, Hesling was SVP, Programming at Warner Bros-owned Shed Media and spent 14 years at the BBC in London, New York and LA. He exec produced series including NBC’s First Dates and Genius Junior, TLC’s Long Lost Family and Oxygen’s Criminal Confessions and brought classic British car format Top Gear to the U.S.

Fox Alternative Entertainment is behind series such as The Masked Singer and Next Level Chef, which is produced in association with Fox joint venture Studio Ramsay Global, as well as I Can See Your Voice, Crime Scene Kitchen, Alter Ego, Joe Millionaire: For Richer or Poorer, Domino Masters and Name that Tune.

The studio has also been increasingly producing international projects such as Ireland’s The Big Deal, which is in the works as Fame or Fortune in the U.S, as well as shows for third parties including dating competition Love Trip: Paris for Freeform.

“I am so excited for John to join FAE and lead the incredible team we have assembled,” said Wallach. “His creative vision and vast experience as both a producer and an executive working on a global scale will be key to our strategy of building FAE as a leading provider of innovative series and formats for Fox and third-party platforms throughout the world.”

Hesling added, “Getting the chance to work with Allison and team at Fox is an amazing opportunity and I can’t wait to get started. FAE has a roster of incredible talent and global ambitions, and that, together with a focus on creating hit shows for the network, is a super-exciting challenge.”

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