Jenna Bush Hager appoints Ben Spector as president of film and television – Deadline

EXCLUSIVE: Jenna Bush Hager, co-host of Today with Hoda & Jennahired veteran development executive Ben Spector as president of film and television as part of its first deal with Universal Studio Group, which was announced in February.

Spector just completed a long tenure as President of Television and Film at Eva Longoria’s UnbeliEVAble Entertainment.

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As part of Hager’s pact, she and Spector will develop and produce projects with Universal Content Productions, Universal Television, Universal Television Alternative Studio and Universal International Studios for multiple platforms through its production banner. The duo is already in the process of acquiring intellectual property and options projects.

Hager is the founder of Today’s #ReadWithJenna book club, and had called her USG production deal “a natural extension of Read with Jenna’s mission to showcase new and diverse authors.” Since its launch in March 2019, 30 of Hager’s book club selections have become New York Times bestsellers.

“I look forward to building this new business with Ben at the helm,” Hager said. “He brings decades of experience, empathy and a shared love of literature to the team. Getting to know Ben over the past few months, I have been impressed with his experience, prowess and desire to create meaningful work.

Spector was previously associated with Longoria at UnbeliEVAble Entertainment where he recently produced Civil war, Longoria’s first feature documentary which premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. He is an executive producer Eva Longoria: In Search of Mexico, an Emmy-winning spin-off In search of Italy, which was commissioned by CNN+; executive production Paola Santiago and the river of tears, created by Kevin Rodriguez and co-showrun with Monica Breen for Disney+; and developing land of women with Bambu Productions on Apple TV+ and House of spirits with Film Nation. Additionally, during his tenure at the company, he served as an executive producer on ABC’s big hotelNBC Telenovela, ESPN 30/30 Versus series and Netflix Emmy nominees Reverse Roe.

Prior to joining UnbeliEVAble, Spector was Head of Television for Mike Tollin Productions, where he produced The wedding band at TBS and On the carpet for MTV. Earlier in his career, he served as Executive Vice President of Betty Thomas’ Dominant Pictures where he identified and developed John Tucker must dieand executive at Jean-Jacques Annaud’s Reperage, where he was associate producer of the film Universal Two brothers.

“I’m thrilled to join Jenna in launching her production company at NBCUniversal,” said Spector. “From our first meeting, it was clear to me that her vision, her curiosity and her ability to connect with people make her a natural producer. She has built an incredible community of loyal and dedicated readers with her incisive book club choices, and I look forward to helping expand her focus by providing a platform for diverse voices across film, television and the new media. Also, I am thrilled to reunite with the NBCUniversal family who have shown incredible support for this company.

Hager and his company are represented by UTA.

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