As one of the most prolific and versatile producers in the history of the television business, Michael Davies has been a key figure in transforming the television and digital landscapes and bringing alternative ideas to the mainstream. Davies has logged more than 500 episodes of primetime television, more than 1,000 episodes of first-run syndication, more than 1,000 episodes of cable television and more than 2,000 pieces of digital video content.
As President of Embassy Row, the global television format and digital production company that Davies sold to Sony Pictures Entertainment in late 2008, he and his team are dedicated to developing original concepts and adapting international formats for television networks, digital and wireless distribution in both the U.S. and around the world. Davies specializes in the genres of games, creative competitions, live talk, food, sports, music and documentary. In addition, Davies has been a pioneer in the fields of brand-supported and digital content.
Davies' recent television credits include: "Watch What Happens: Live," Bravo's late-night phenomenon which moves to five nights a week in January 2012; the critically acclaimed "Glee Project" for Oxygen; "The Substitute" on MTV and "The Talking Dead" on AMC. Davies has recently led a push back into network television for Embassy Row, and forthcoming projects include "The Exit List," a revolutionary new game property for ABC. Davies continues to serve as executive producer of the "Wife Swap" franchise, with new celebrity episodes returning in January 2012.
Other credits for Davies and Embassy Row include: "Iconoclasts" for the Sundance Channel with Radical Media and Grey Goose Entertainment; "The World Series of Pop Culture" on VH1; "The Newlywed Game" and "Grand Slam" for GSN, and the Rose d'Or-winning game show, "Power of 10," for CBS.
Serving as a pioneer in digital production, Embassy Row continues to create successful online programming. The latest developments include the “Men in Blazers” podcast on Grantland and ESPN.com and "Why It Crackles" on Sony-owned Crackle. Embassy Row has also created and produced digital content for major brands including Pepsi, Elle magazine, Hellmann's, LG, American Express and Swarovski.
A passion for real-life drama and great stories led Davies and Embassy Row to executive-produce documentary films. The controversial and highly regarded "The Tillman Story" (Passion Pictures/A&E Films/The Weinstein Co.) was an Official Selection at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and shortlisted for an Academy Award. "Once in a Lifetime: The Extraordinary Story of the New York Cosmos" (Passion Pictures/ESPN Original Entertainment/Miramax) is an entertaining and critically acclaimed piece of sports history.
Before founding Embassy Row in 2005, Davies was founder and president of Diplomatic, where he produced multiple projects including ESPN's popular game show, "2 Minute Drill" and The WB's cult game show/reality hybrid, "Studio 7." He is most known, however, for launching and executive-producing almost 400 primetime episodes of the groundbreaking and genre-defining "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire" for ABC, and more than 1,000 additional episodes in syndication, where the show continues to thrive. Davies received two Emmy Awards for the primetime version of "Millionaire" in 2000 and 2001.
Prior to the formation of Diplomatic, Davies served as Executive Vice President, Alternative Series and Specials, for ABC Entertainment, where he oversaw the development of the Daytime Emmy and TV Guide Award-winning U.S. version of "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire", "Whose Line Is It Anyway?," the popular David Blaine magic specials, the original pilot for "The Man Show" (which ran for seven seasons on Comedy Central) and the 1998 and 1999 Academy Awards. He joined the network in January 1998.
Davies joined ABC from Buena Vista Productions, where he was Senior Vice President, Development, responsible for developing all first-run syndication, cable and network programming. Davies had been with Buena Vista Productions since 1992, shepherding such projects as the late night talk-variety program "The Keenen Ivory Wayans Show"; the television adaptation of the feature hit "Honey, I Shrunk The Kids"; the Emmy-winning Comedy Central series "Win Ben Stein's Money"; the Lifetime hit game show "Debt," which won a CableACE Award for Best Game Show in 1996; and the Emmy-winning children's series "Disney Presents Bill Nye the Science Guy."