Head of Unscripted Development, Programming and Specials
Drew Tappon is the Head of Unscripted Development, Programming and Specials ç for OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network, a role he assumed in June, 2021. He is responsible for all unscripted programming across all of the network’s platforms, including READY TO LOVE, LOVE AND MARRIAGE HUNTSVILLE, PUT A RING ON IT and FAMILY OR FIANCÉ. Prior to OWN, Drew was the Chief Creative Officer for SallyAnn Salsano’s 495 Productions, where he oversaw all creative elements for the prolific production company, known for their boisterous and outrageous reality programming, including JERSEY SHORE, MTV’s FLORIBAMA SHORE, A DOUBLE SHOT AT LOVE, Facebook Watch’s PEACE OF MIND WITH TARAJI P HENSON, PARTY DOWN SOUTH for CMT , and the award-winning VH1 series MARTHA AND SNOOP’S POTLUCK DINNER PARTY. Prior to joining 495, Tappon spent 5 years as the Senior Vice President of Non-Fiction/Alternative Programming for A&E. In addition to developing new properties, he oversaw franchises from BunimMurray Productions (creators of THE REAL WORLD), ITV Studios/Left Field Pictures (creators of PAWN STARS), 44 Blue (creators of WAHLBURGERS and LOCKED UP) and Eastern TV (formerly of 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 multiple Emmys for Unstructured Reality, and lived on the network for 4 seasons, plus a holiday special. 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 and TAKE 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 selling 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 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. 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 hails from Rochester, New York, and 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.