Mo’Nique has struck an agreement with Endemol Shine North America to develop unscripted TV projects.
The deal reunites the Oscar-winning actress with Cris Abrego, president and CEO of Endemol Shine Holdings and chairman of the Americas, Banijay, Abrego announced Thursday in a press release.
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Under the agreement, Mo’Nique and her manager/husband Sidney Hicks will develop projects for the actress and comedian to host, star in, and produce through their company Hicks Media Inc. She’ll also produce shows for other performers.
“It is an honor for Hicks Media Inc. to be forming a partnership with such a creative force in the industry as Endemol Shine, and it is an exciting opportunity to have an ally with the fearlessness, integrity and vision of its CEO, Cris Abrego,” Mo’Nique and Sidney Hicks said in a statement.
The deal reunites the Precious star with Abrego after he originally cast her in reality series Charm School 15 years ago for VH1.
“Mo’Nique is an icon in every sense of the word, and I can’t think of anyone who is more relevant and whose authentic voice should be heard right now more than hers,” Abrego said. “Our team at Endemol Shine is thrilled to be working with her and excited by the top names that both she and Sidney are already bringing in to collaborate with.”
Abrego co-founded 51 Minds, the production company behind Charm School, which served as a finishing school for contestants and helped them develop better etiquette. Abrego now oversees eight different production studios in the U.S. and across Latin America for Banijay, including Los Angeles-based Endemol Shine North America.
His new partnership came about after calling Mo’Nique and Hicks during the pandemic to inquire about potential unscripted collaborations.
“I’ll never forget my first time working with her on Charm School, where she made it very clear that there was a lack of diverse faces behind the camera and that things needed to change,” Abrego said. “That was 15 years ago, and Mo’Nique has been a champion of equality and representation in our industry ever since.”