Paula Kaplan, former EVP of original programming and live events at Viacom, is moving over to the MCN space, taking a newly created role at DreamWorks-owned AwesomenessTV.
Kaplan joins the company as head of talent and live content. She’ll lead AwesomenessTV’s talent initiatives and casting strategies for all films and series, as well as oversee live events programming and branding. She officially joined the company this month, but had been working with AwesomnessTV as a consultant. Her immediate plan is to help cast the current slate of TV shows and films in development, including pairing digital and linear stars on in-development projects, though none were announced as of press time.
In the future, she’ll begin undertaking leadership on online and offline live events, and is exploring “brand defining” event opportunities. Kaplan will also be working closely with AwesomenessTV’s new millennial mom-focused MCN Awestruck, helping to build out that talent pool.
While at Viacom, Kaplan led Nickelodeon’s live-action productions, producing 175 shows a year. She also served as EVP of talent/West Coast GM and director of communications during her 21-year tenure at Nick. While at the kidsnet, she cast several hit series including iCarly, Drake and Josh and SpongeBob SquarePants, and is credited with building Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards as its executive producer.
She had previously worked with Awesomeness CEO and co-founder Brian Robbins when he first launched All That, a sketch comedy show on Nickelodeon. Having spent the majority of her career working with the tween/teen audience, Kaplan says she was looking for an opportunity to continue creating content for the demo.
In June, AwesomenessTV named Matt Kaplan (no relation to Paula) as the president of its new film division, which was announced in January. Trying to re-capture the success of its feature film Expelled, released on YouTube, the new division plans is to produce a number of feature films over the next year, including soon-to-be-released Smosh: the Movie.
From StreamDaily. With files from Megan Haynes.