Piper takes over the job at YouTube from Ben Relles, who moved into a new role as YouTube’s head of innovation, overseeing interactive programming. Both Piper and Relles report to Susanne Daniels, global head of original content at YouTube.
At YouTube, Piper will lead all efforts with creators to develop and produce unscripted programming spanning formats and genres, including, talk, action, romance, horror and sci-fi. He will oversee all live entertainment events for YouTube. Piper’s focus also includes music and celebrity projects, working in conjunction with YouTube’s partnerships and music teams.
He joins YouTube from Fox where he most recently served as VP of alternative entertainment where he led development for a myriad of special events and series including “So You Think You Can Dance,” “Hell’s Kitchen,” “Cosmos,” “The Four,” “Teen Choice Awards,” and “The 67th Emmy Awards.”
Prior to joining Fox, Piper was SVP, alternative television for Asylum Entertainment, where he helped develop, launch and oversee the company’s unscripted slate. In this role, he executive-produced numerous series, including “30 for 30” for ESPN, “Being Mike Tyson” for Fox, “The Locator” for WE tv, and “Addicted” for TLC. Piper also served as supervising producer on ABC’s medical docu-series “Hopkins” and was a producer for NBC Sports and NBC Olympics, receiving six Emmy Awards for Olympic and other sports events coverage.
“Alex Piper is a seasoned, award-winning reality programming executive with amazing taste and strong relationships who is incredibly well respected in the industry,” Daniels said in announcing his hire. “We are thrilled to have him join YouTube and bring his expertise to our diverse programming slate.”
YouTube’s unscripted roster has included “What the Fit?” with Kevin Hart, “Escape the Night,” and “Will Smith: The Jump” as well as music docus-eries and live specials including “Ariana Grande: Dangerous Woman Diaries,” “Demi Lovato: Simply Complicated,” and “Katy Perry: Witness World Wide.”
YouTube’s overall slate is focused on programming built around music, education, and YouTube creators, according to Daniels. YouTube has canceled several scripted shows recently while keeping a few tentpoles. Jon Wax remains head of scripted for YouTube Originals, after joining the team in 2017; he previously was head of scripted programming for WGN America and Tribune Studios.
YouTube says it plans to unveil new and returning scripted and unscripted series May 2 at its Brandcast event in New York City. Last year, YouTube Originals generated 1.5 billion views across 50-plus scripted and unscripted shows, according to the company.
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