Mattel has appointed former 20th Television, Apple TV+, Sony Television and CBS Network executive Michelle Mendelovitz as the head of the toymaker’s Television Studios division.
Mendelovitz will be tasked with overseeing the development, production and distribution of Mattel’s robust slate of episodic content on broadcast and streaming globally, reporting to Mattel’s chief franchise officer Josh Silverman.
“Mattel is a globally revered brand that I’ve always admired for its ability to empower and relate to their audience generation after generation,” she said in a statement. “Taking that bold spirit to speak to themes that impact people’s worlds, while simultaneously entertaining audiences of all ages, is what we are focused on as we grow Mattel Television Studios into an inspiring storytelling home for best-in-class creators.”
The move comes fresh off the brand’s smashing success with the “Barbie” movie and as Mattel aims to pump out a number of films based on iconic toys.
Mendelovitz most recently served as the executive producer of Hiddenlight Productions, working with Secretary Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton to develop a suite of scripted projects for the initial slate for their production company.
At Disney’s 20th Television Studios, Mendelovitz served as head of drama development, where she managed more than 250 projects in various stages of development and production across all Disney platforms and other streamers including Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Peacock.
Prior to Disney, she was a senior creative executive for scripted and unscripted programming at Apple, playing a leading role in the launch of AppleTV+ and overseeing straight-to-series scripted shows and docuseries including “Severance,” “For All Mankind” and Oprah Winfrey and Prince Harry’s mental health documentary series “The Me You Can’t See.”
At Sony Pictures Television, Mendelovitz served as vice president of scripted programming for the company’s drama and comedy division, overseeing all creative and production needs on series for broadcast networks and streaming platforms including ABC’s “The Good Doctor” and Netflix’s “Bloodline.”
Mendelovitz started her career at CBS Television in comedy development.
Mattel Television Studios’ content slate includes animated and live action series and specials based on leading IP such as Barbie, Thomas & Friends, Hot Wheels, Fireman Sam, Polly Pocket, Barney, Masters of the Universe, Monster High, and Pictionary. In 2023 alone, Mattel premiered 12 series and specials.
“Michelle is a powerful creative leader with a wealth of experience working with top studios and creators to make innovative, quality content across genres and platforms, Mattel chairman and CEO Ynon Kreiz said in a statement. “We are excited for her to join at a time of such momentum for the company, and for the important role she will play in developing stories that resonate in culture and growing Mattel’s global fan base.”
“The opportunity to connect worldwide audiences with Mattel’s iconic brands, franchises, and characters through high-quality storytelling is greater than ever before,” Silverman added. “I look forward to the impact Michelle and Mattel Television Studios will have on expanding the content slate to the delight of our fans around the globe.”
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