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Producer Joel Zimmer Returns to Magical Elves to Head Development

Company behind ”Top Chef“ and ”Project Runway“ also elevates casting lead Samantha Hanks to executive vice president

“America’s Got Talent” producer Joel Zimmer is returning to Magical Elves, where it all started for him, to run the production company’s development. Additionally on Wednesday, Magical Elves Co-CEOs Casey Kriley and Jo Sharon announced the promotion of their casting lead Samantha Hanks to the executive vice president level.

With the addition of Joel, and the elevation of Samantha, Magical Elves has the right leadership in place to continue our growth, and further evolve our slate of quality, aspirational programming,” Kriley and Sharon said in a joint statement, “Samantha’s contributions to casting and attracting high-caliber talent has been a key factor in our current success, and with Joel’s added expertise and enthusiasm, both executives will play a crucial role in dreaming up and creating the next generation of hit projects for Magical Elves.”

Zimmer’s first producing job was with Magical Elves on an early season of NBC’s “Last Comic Standing.” Recently, Zimmer ran independent shop Snow Day Entertainment. Between those gigs, he served as showrunner on HGTV “Design Star” and Oxygen’s “Dance Your Ass Off,” as well as produced on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” and CNBC’s “Blue Collar Millionaires.”

“There’s not a Magical Elves series over the last decade that I haven’t secretly wished I had created or worked on,” Zimmer said. “I’m thrilled to work with Casey, Jo and their amazing team as we start a new decade and develop even more series that bring the signature Magical Elves brand of elevated storytelling and characters.”

Some of those Magical Elves shows include “Top Chef,” “Project Runway” and Nat Geo’s “Brain Games” reboot, to cherry pick a few.

“Over the past ten years, Magical Elves has become my home,” Hanks said. “I’m extremely proud of the work our team has produced, and I look forward to building even more relationships with first-rate talent and network partners.”