Speaker Drew Tappon
You are not currently viewing the most recent Realscreen Summit. Go to Realscreen Summit 2023.
Head of Unscripted Development, Programming & Specials
Drew Tappon is the Chief Creative Officer for 495 Productions, a position he has held since October, 2016. In this role, he oversees all creative elements (both development and current) for the prolific production company, known for their boisterous and outrageous reality programming, including Jersey Shore, A Double Shot At Love, Party Down South, the award-winning VH1 series Martha And Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party, Mtv’s Floribama Shore, Bravo’s Invite Only: Cabo, Tlc’s Hear Me, Love Me, See Me, Viceland’s The Untitled Action Bronson Show and more. He is based out of the company’s Burbank, CA office.
Prior to joining 495, Tappon spent 5 years as the Senior Vice President of Non-Fiction/Alternative Programming for A&E, one of the industry’s most prolific cable networks. In addition to developing new properties, he oversaw franchises from Bunim-Murray Productions (creators of The Real World), Left Field Pictures (creators of Pawn Stars), 44 Blue (creators of Wahlburgers and Locked Up) and Eastern TV (VH1’s Love & Hip-Hop). But he is most proud of a series called Born This Way, which focused on the lives of young people with Down syndrome. The series won an Emmy for Unstructured Reality, and continues to live on, in Season 4, for the network now.
Before working with A&E, Drew developed reality television for Warner Horizon Television, responsible for developing original programming for both broadcast network and cable entities. From high-profile network fare (like The Bachelor, The Bachelorette andTake The Money and Run for ABC; The Voice and School Pride for NBC and H8R for The CW) to provocative cable programming (like MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew and TV LAND’s High School Reunion), Drew was responsible for overseeing a stable of reality producers and delivering quality programming to a variety of networks.
Previously, Drew was the Senior Vice President, Original Programming & Series Development for MTV, based in Los Angeles. He was responsible for developing original programming for MTV and its multi-platforms (including MTV.COM/Overdrive, MTV Mobile and Video on Demand) and overseeing current programming on the network, as well. Drew worked for MTV for more than 12 years, rising through its ranks from an assistant position to a Senior Vice President position he held from May, 2006 until 2008.
During his tenure at MTV, Drew worked on a number of highly successful programs, both in terms of ratings and critical acclaim. Some of these projects include: The Real World (Seasons 5 – Miami – through Season 20 – Hollywood), Road Rules (Seasons 2- 15) and The Challenges (Seasons 1- 16); A Shot At Love With Tila Tequila; America’s Best Dance Crew; Pageant Place; Miss 17 with Seventeen Magazine; Yo Momma with Wilmer Valderrama; I’m From Rolling Stone with Jann Wenner; the highly-successful afternoon blocks, including Date My Mom, Next, Parental Control, Exposed and Why Can’t I Be You?; Tough Enough, a joint venture with the World Wrestling Entertainment Company; Sorority Life and its spin-Off Fraternity Life; Now What?; Austin Stories; The Blame Game; Loveline; The Tom Green Show; Super Adventure Team; among others.
Drew holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the State University of New York at Binghamton, with a degree in English Literature & Rhetoric. He also received his Master’s Degree in Business Communication Management from the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School. He is married and is the father of amazing almost 10-year-old twins who probably miss him right now. He should probably stop typing and go play with them right now.
Speaking on: Safe Sets: Best Practices for Duty of Care