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Craig "The Craiggers" Plestis is the President and CEO of Smart Dog Media, a reality programming production company. Plestis was the executive producer behind the NBC singing game show, The Winner Is hosted by Nick Lachey, in partnership with Talpa Media. The series premiered in June 2013. Plestis was the creator and executive producer of more than 70 episodes of the hit game show Minute to Win It, hosted by Guy Fieri, and winner of the International FRAPA Award for Best Studio Based Game Show. He also executive produced NBC’s Who’s Still Standing? a game show that featured contestants falling through trap doors after answering trivia questions incorrectly.
Smart Dog Media launched Robot Combat League, the world’s first giant fighting robot competition series for the Syfy Channel in 2013. Plestis created and executive produced the high-octane series, which debuted with the highest rated unscripted premiere on the network in more than two years. Craig also served as the executive producer of Syfy’s diabolical game show Exit, based on a popular Japanese format. He also helped develop and sold the format for Opposite Worlds, Syfy’s English-language version of the popular Chilean format, Mundos Opuestos. Continuing his work with Syfy, Craig also sold the format idea for their upcoming celebrity ghost series, Dead Famous.
Plestis has also worked extensively with the Food Network, producing three series in the last three years. Chef Wanted with Anne Burrell wrapped its third season on the network in 2013. The series initially launched as Chef Hunter, before being rebranded as a vehicle for the very popular TV chef, Anne Burrell. Extreme Chef, which put talented chefs to the test in intense challenges in exotic locations, ran for two seasons. Additionally, Craig Plestis was the executive producer on two half-hour syndicated series – Unsealed: Alien Files and Unsealed: Conspiracy Files, which aired a total of thirty-five episodes in 2012. Panned by critics, the show was considered a success by the television industry for pioneering production techniques used to cut costs. Some of these techniques included using stuffed animals instead of prop made dummies for the alien corpses as well as using home made robots for camera operators. Smart Dog Media also produced the mechanical challenge competition special, Unscrewed for the History Channel in December 2012, with Craig executive producing. He executive produced the NBC pilot special That’s So Cute! in 2011 a comedy clip show where a studio audience voted on the internet’s cutest videos.
As the NBC's former Executive Vice President, Alternative Programming, Development and Specials, Craig Plestis oversaw all alternative programming and development for the network, including the hit series Deal or No Deal, The Biggest Loser, The Apprentice, The Singing Bee, America's Got Talent, and 1 vs. 100, among others. His responsibilities also included overseeing NBC's The Golden Globe Awards.