The Agents: Mark Itkin

Sep 21, 2008  •  Post A Comment

More than one unscripted agent has claimed to have pioneered the notion of bringing overseas nonfiction show concepts to the U.S., including former William Morris staffer Ben Silverman. But while Mr. Silverman was still a teenager back in 1988, Mark Itkin was in London identifying game-show formats that would end up in the U.S. Those syndicated shows—“Sweethearts” and “Trump Card”—weren’t big hits, but they helped lay the groundwork for what would become a flood of unscripted imports a decade later.

TVWeek’s Real Power

It also marked the beginning of Mr. Itkin’s career as a pioneer in the modern reality TV era. In the mid-1990s, he put together MTV’s “The Real World” via client Bunim-Murray Productions.

In 2000, he helped Jon de Mol bring “Big Brother” to the United States, supplying CBS with a summer staple that’s still thriving under the direction of Allison Grodner. He followed up by helping put together unscripted hits such as “Fear Factor,” “Project Runway,” “Hell’s Kitchen” and “The Biggest Loser.”

“I grew up in a middle-class environment,” Mr. Itkin said. “So I have no snobbery about entertainment. I love TV and I love reality TV. So I think I have a good gut for what I think will sell and what will work.”

Mr. Itkin said he also tries to always be “honest with my clients and my buyers. I don’t waste time on bullshit.”

Dream collaboration: “Jacqueline Smith. I loved her as an Angel and love her as host of ‘Shear Genius.’”


  1. Great blog!! You should start many more. I love all the info provided. I will stay tuned 🙂

  2. Interesting layout on your blog. I really enjoyed reading it and also I will be back to read more in the future.

  3. Hey how are you doing? I just wanted to stop by and say that it’s been a pleasure reading your blog. I have bookmarked your website so that I can come back & read more in the future as well. plz do keep up the quality writing

  4. Neat blog layout! Very easy on the eyes.. i like the colors you picked out

  5. Amazing freakin blog here. I almost cried while reading it!

  6. Love all the opinions expressed here! How is everyone? Love how everyone expresses whatr they feel 🙂

  7. I just have to say, great info. i’ve been looking for something like this for a although. can i subscribe somehow to new content? like email subscription or rss feed?

  8. Wow, amazing blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy.

  9. This is the best blog I’ve ever seen in my life! I really appreciate you taking the time out of your busy day to share your this with everyone.

  10. Neat blog layout! Very easy on the eyes.. i like the colors you picked out

  11. You write nonsense, then people will read until the sorrow is to read.

  12. I am glad to find so various useful information here within the article, we need extend new techniques inside this regard, thanks for sharing

  13. Way to focus and straight to your point, i love it. Keep up the work people. Dont let anyone stop us bloggers.

Your Comment

Email (will not be published)