Former Maverick TV USA president John Hesling has been appointed executive VP and head of Fox Alternative Entertainment (FAE), Fox Entertainment’s in-house factual studio.
LA-based Hesling will be charged with overseeing development and production of all unscripted series at FAE. He will also take charge of titles that FAE handles for third-party buyers in the US and abroad.
He will report to Fox Entertainment president of unscripted programming Allison Wallach, who previously held the top post at FAE before being promoted in December.
Hesling’s appointment is accompanied by minor shuffle within Fox Entertainment and FAE. Reporting to Hesling at FAE will be senior VP of current, Spike Van Briesen, who is transitioning over to the studio from Fox Entertainment. Also reporting to Hesling are Leela Pon, senior VP of content, and Staci Sarkin, senior VP of production.
Prior to joining FAE, Hesling served as president at Maverick TV USA from 2018 to 2022. During his time with the company, he oversaw the production of USA Network’s Chrisley Knows Best and Growing Up Chrisley. Before that, he was the senior VP of programming at Warner Bros-backed Shed Media, where he oversaw Shed’s entire factual output, including The Real Housewives of New York City for Bravo, First Dates for NBC, Who Do You Think You Are? for TLC and Criminal Confessions for Oxygen.
Hesling’s career began with the BBC in 1995, initially in the Natural History Unit before he moved to BBC Entertainment in London, where he produced Dragons’ Den and Crisis Command. He later moved to BBC Entertainment Productions in New York, and later to LA-based BBC Worldwide Productions, where he was senior VP of programming from 2007 to 2010, working on series including ABC’s Dancing with the Stars and NBC’s Great American Road Trip. He also executive produced the US version of Top Gear (History) from 2010 to 2014.
Wallach said: “[Hesling’s] 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.”
Hesling added: “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.”
Fox Entertainment’s factual roster includes The Masked Singer, Next Level Chef and Crime Scene Kitchen, while third-party titles produced by FAE include dating competition series Love Trip: Paris for Freeform and variety series The Big Deal for Ireland’s Virgin Media Television.
In other news, Fox Entertainment has ordered a third season of Dan Harmon’s adult animated series Krapopolis before the first has even gone to air.
The comedy series, produced by Fox’s animation studio Bento Box Entertainment, is the US broadcast network’s first wholly owned animated series and will premiere later this year.
The action is set in mythical ancient Greece, where a dysfunctional family of humans, gods and monsters are attempting to run the world’s first cities.