Cris Abrego

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Cris Abrego
Occupation Television producer, writer

Cris Abrego is an American television producer, writer and co-CEO of Endemol USA.

Early life[edit]

Abrego grew up in El Monte, California. He was a wrestler at California State University, Fullerton before graduating and moving to Los Angeles to work on reality television shows.[1]


After graduation from Mountain View High School, Abrego joined Bunim-Murray, working on The Real World and Road Rules television shows.[1] While working for Bunim-Murray, Abrego freelanced as a coordinating producer for Fear and Making the Band.[1] In addition, he was the co-creator and executive producer for a reality version of the movie The Cannonball Run.[1]

In 2002, Abrego created Brass Ring; a production company responsible for Next Action Star, Surf Girls and The Hitchhiker Chronicles.[1] Soon after, he created 51 Pictures.[1]

In 2003, Abrego's 51 Pictures merged with Mark Cronin's Mindless Entertainment to form 51 Minds Entertainment. The two met through Abrego's agent.[1] Together, they created The Surreal Life for the WB network. Soon after, the team created a string of "Celebreality" shows for VH1, including Strange Love, My Fair Brady, The Surreal Life Fame Games, Celebrity Paranormal Project, Flavor of Love, I Love New York, New York Goes to Hollywood, Flavor of Love Girls: Charm School, Rock of Love with Bret Michaels, I Love Money, America's Most Smartest Model, Rock of Love Girls: Charm School 2, La La's Full Court Life, Real Chance of Love, For the Love of Ray J, Daisy of Love, Megan Wants a Millionaire, and Bridal Plasty.

In 2013, Abrego became co-chairman and co-CEO of Endemol North America along with Charlie Corwin. Former co-founder and chief of Endemol-owned 51 Minds (Flavor of Love), Abrego is one of the leading creators and producers of reality television in the U.S., recognized globally for pioneering a new genre of unscripted programming with the breakout hit celeb-reality series The Surreal Life. Abrego now commands a portfolio of companies, including unscripted powerhouse Endemol USA, home of the longest running unscripted format and fan favorite Big Brother (CBS), award-winning competition series Wipeout (ABC) and the hit Emmy Award-winning syndicated daytime series Steve Harvey (NBCU); Endemol Studios, Endemol’s scripted studio operation whose portfolio of primetime one-hour dramas include Hell on Wheels (AMC), Kingdom (DirecTV) and a diverse slate of sold dramas at 13 top cable and digital distribution channels; Authentic Entertainment (Here Comes Honey Boo Boo), Original Media (Ink Master) and True Entertainment (Real Housewives of Atlanta) as well as Core Media Group, overseeing their development and production operation and roster of world class properties which include, through Simon Fuller’s Core Media-based 19 Entertainment, the gold standard of music competition series American Idol (FOX), So You Think You Can Dance (FOX) and Core Media-based Sharp Entertainment (Man vs. Food (Travel Channel)).

Since being named to run Endemol North America in September 2013, along with Charlie Corwin, co-chairman and co-CEO, Endemol North America, they have expanded into live events, digital and making exclusive overall production deals with globally recognized talent. Endemol LIVE will produce Pitbull’s New Year’s Revolution LIVE for Fox with Pitbull, for whom they have an exclusive overall deal. They also oversee Endemol Beyond USA, the digital premium channel network, which produces award-winning original programming featuring Internet stars such as Michelle Phan and Brittany Furlan and Emmy Award-winning talent such as Drea De Matteo.

Abrego sold his company 51 Minds to Endemol in 2008. He began his career at Bunim/Murray, where he worked on The Real World and Road Rules. He grew up in El Monte, California. He has a degree from Cal State University Fullerton, where he was a wrestler. He resides in Los Angeles, California with his wife and three children.[2]


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