Expanded Responsibilities Include Close Collaboration on Starz Scripted Programming
SANTA MONICA, Calif. and VANCOUVER, British Columbia, March 2, 2017 /CNW/ -- Marcello Bellisario has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Talent & Casting for Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF.A, LGF.B) under a new long-term agreement that encompasses expanded responsibilities for all scripted casting for Lionsgate as well as collaboration with Starz on their original programming. The announcement was made by Lionsgate Executive Vice President and Head of Worldwide Scripted Television Chris Selak and Starz President of Programming Carmi Zlotnik.
Bellisario will continue to report directly to Selak, as well as work closely with Zlotnik in his new role. The appointment marks Starz's first full-time hire in this area, and Bellisario will have offices in both Santa Monica and Beverly Hills as part of his expanded responsibilities for both companies.
Bellisario's skill in identifying great talent and managing talent relationships has contributed to the Lionsgate Television Group's growth into a leading supplier of premium content to broadcast, cable and digital networks alike. Lionsgate's slate now encompasses nearly 90 series on 40 different U.S. networks.
"Since joining Lionsgate, Marcello's incredible knowledge of actors and industry relationships has helped our TV Group develop a slate of award-winning, critically acclaimed series that stand out from the crowd and help define the networks with whom we work," said Selak. "As our television operations continue to scale and diversify, we are happy to recognize Marcello with this promotion and expansion of his duties, which will be a huge benefit to Lionsgate, Starz and all of our creative talent."
Zlotnik said, "We are very excited to have Marcello as part of the team, helping to guide our casting partnerships and decisions. His eye for talent is incredible and we look forward to our creative collaboration on the STARZ series."
Bellisario holds the distinction of being the first head of Casting & Talent Relations in Lionsgate Television history. This is a department and Vice President position that he created upon his joining the company in 2014. To date, he has worked closely with and supervised the casting of series and pilots for Academy Award®-nominated producers Jason Reitman and Helen Estabrook (Casual/Hulu), Oprah Winfrey (Greenleaf/OWN), Jenji Kohan (Orange Is The New Black/Netflix), Clyde Phillips (Nurse Jackie/Showtime and Feed The Beast/AMC), Josh Stern and Greg Shapiro (Graves/Epix), Mark Schwan (The Royals/E!), Thomas Schlamme and Sam Shaw (Manhattan/WGN), and Alli Shearmur (Dirty Dancing/ABC). He is currently overseeing the casting of several forthcoming series, such as Dear White People (Netflix), White Famous (Showtime), Dimension 404 (Hulu), Nightcap (Pop), and Manhunt: The UNABOMer (Discovery/Trigger Street). Furthermore, Bellisario's upcoming projects include Lionsgate's first series for YouTube Red, Step Up, and the Studio's TV adaptation of its ground-breaking film and television franchise The Kingkiller Chronicle.
Bellisario's relationship with Lionsgate began as the studio and network executive in charge of overseeing the casting of the pilot for Nashville, which resulted in an Emmy® and Golden Globe® nomination for star Connie Britton, as well as two Golden Globe® nominations for Hayden Panettiere. Prior to that, he spent four and half years working at ABC and ABC Studios, overseeing the casting of Scandal (Emmy®-nominated Kerry Washington and -winner Joe Morton), How To Get Away With Murder (Academy Award® and Emmy® winner Viola Davis), Grey's Anatomy and Revenge (Golden Globe®-nominated Madeleine Stowe).
Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF.A, LGF.B) is a vertically integrated next generation global content leader with a diversified presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, premium pay television networks, home entertainment, global distribution and sales, interactive ventures and games and location-based entertainment.
With the acquisition of Starz, Lionsgate adds to its portfolio of businesses the flagship STARZ premium pay network serving 24.3 million subscribers and the STARZ ENCORE platform with 31 million subscribers. The combined company will operate five over-the-top (OTT) streaming services and the STARZ app delivering content directly to consumers.
The Company's feature film business spans eight labels and includes the blockbuster The Hunger Games franchise, the Now You See Me series, the box office blockbuster La La Land, which won six Academy Awards®, the hit franchise sequel John Wick: Chapter Two, double Oscar winner Hacksaw Ridge, Tyler Perry's Boo! A Madea Halloween, CBS Films/Lionsgate's Hell or High Water, Roadside Attractions' critically-acclaimed Manchester by the Sea, Codeblack Films' breakout concert film Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain and Pantelion Films' Instructions Not Included, the highest-grossing Spanish-language film ever released in the U.S.
One of the largest independent television businesses in the world, Lionsgate's slate of premium quality series encompasses nearly 90 shows on more than 40 different networks. These include the ground-breaking Orange is the New Black, the fan favorite Nashville, the syndication success The Wendy Williams Show, the hit drama The Royals, the acclaimed Casual, the breakout success Greenleaf and hit STARZ series including Outlander, Black Sails, Survivor's Remorse and Power, the second highest-rated premium pay television series of 2016.
Lionsgate's home entertainment business is an industry leader in box office-to-DVD and box office-to-VOD revenue conversion rates. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of more than 16,000 motion picture and television titles that is an important source of recurring revenue and serves as a foundation for the growth of the Company's core businesses. The Lionsgate, Summit Entertainment and Starz brands are synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world. www.lionsgate.com