Veteran Executive and Producer to Oversee FOX Entertainment’s In-House Unscripted Studio
Veteran executive and producer John Hesling has been named Executive Vice President, Head of FOX Alternative Entertainment (FAE), FOX Entertainment’s in-house unscripted studio, it was announced today by Allison Wallach, President, Unscripted Programming, for FOX Entertainment.
Based in Los Angeles and reporting to Wallach, Hesling will be responsible for overseeing the development and production of all unscripted series owned by FOX Entertainment, as well as programs FAE produces for third-party buyers in the U.S. and abroad. Current FOX series on the company’s roster include The Masked Singer, television’s #1 unscripted program; Next Level Chef (in partnership with Studio Ramsay Global), which recently delivered 16.7 million Total Viewers in its Season Two post-Super Bowl LVII premiere, making it the most-watched cooking series telecast in television history; I Can See Your Voice, 2020-2021’s #1 new unscripted program; Crime Scene Kitchen (with Fly on the Wall Entertainment), hosted by Joel McHale and Summer 2021’s #1 new series; Alter Ego, Fall 2021’s #1 new unscripted series; Joe Millionaire: For Richer or Poorer; Domino Masters, with Eric Stonestreet hosting; and Name that Tune, featuring Jane Krakowski and Randy Jackson.
FAE-produced programs for outside platforms include the dating competition Love Trip: Paris for Freeform and the variety series The Big Deal for Ireland’s Virgin Media Television in partnership with Dublin-based BiggerStage.
Reporting to Hesling at FAE will be Senior Vice President, Current, Spike Van Briesen, who is transitioning over to the studio from FOX Entertainment; Leela Pon, Senior Vice President, Content; and Staci Sarkin, Senior Vice President, Production, all based in Los Angeles.
“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.”
Added Hesling, “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.”
Most recently, Hesling was President of Maverick TV USA from 2018 to 2022, where, amongst other shows, he oversaw production of USA Network’s hit series Chrisley Knows Best and Growing Up Chrisley. Prior to that, he was Senior Vice President, Programming, at Warner Bros.’ Shed Media in Los Angeles. Responsible for the company’s unscripted department, he oversaw Shed’s entire output, including, to name a few, The Real Housewives of New York City for Bravo, NBC’s First Dates and Genius Junior, Long Lost Family and Who Do You Think You Are? for TLC and Oxygen’s Criminal Confessions.
Hesling began his career with the BBC in 1995, first in its Natural History Unit before moving to BBC Entertainment in London, where he produced Dragons Den and Crisis Command, then BBC Entertainment Productions in New York and, ultimately, Los Angeles-based BBC Worldwide Productions, where from 2007 to 2010, he was Senior Vice President, Programming. Among the series he spearheaded during his tenure at the BBC are ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, Great American Road Trip and Clash of the Choirs for NBC and Top Gear. Between 2010 and 2014, he executive produced the U.S. format of Top Gear for History.
About FOX Alternative Entertainment
FOX Alternative Entertainment (FAE) is the in-house unscripted studio of FOX Entertainment. Formed in 2019 to oversee the production of The Masked Singer, U.S. television's #1 unscripted series, FAE develops and produces alternative programming for the FOX Network, its streaming service, Tubi, and third-party platforms. In addition to The Masked Singer, FAE currently produces Gordon Ramsay’s cooking competition and last season’s #1 new entertainment series, Next Level Chef, and the upcoming series Gordon Ramsay’s Food Stars (both with Studio Ramsay Global); I Can See Your Voice, hosted by Ken Jeong; Alter Ego, the 2021-22 season’s #1 new unscripted program; Joe Millionaire: For Richer or Poorer; Crime Scene Kitchen (with Fly on the Wall Entertainment), Summer 2021’s #1 new series hosted by Joel McHale; Name That Tune, featuring Jane Krakowski and Randy Jackson; as well as Domino Masters, hosted by Eric Stonestreet. Third-party series produced by FAE include the dating show Love Trip: Paris for Freeform in the U.S., the variety competition program The Big Deal for Ireland’s Virgin Media Television in partnership with Dublin-based BiggerStage and the celebrity performance competition The Masterpiece for Workpoint in Taiwan.