Name: Joey Carson
Who he is: Chief operating officer, Bunim-Murray Productions, the company largely credited for spawning the current reality craze with its long-running MTV franchise "The Real World."
Where he's from: Prior to joining BMP in 2001, Carson ran production and finance for Fox's 20th Television, guiding the studio's production slate that included long-running staples as "Cops" and "America's Most Wanted." He also helped create Fox's Van Ness Films, which grew to become a significant supplier for A&E Network's "Biography." Carson also held a range of financial posts with Sony Pictures Entertainment.
What he's done: Bunim-Murray has been integrating products for over a decade beginning with "The Real World" as a means of offsetting production costs and has evolved a more strategic, proactive approach to partnering with brands. When "Road Rules" and "The Real World/Road Rules Challenge" came along, it went from static product placements to integrating brands as sponsors of specific challenges. More recently on the Fox reality romp "The Simple Life 2" starring Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie, Carson and his team orchestrated an integration for Burger King, which "was organic to the show. They were on a road trip and we all pull into fast-food places on a road trip. It wasn't in-your-face and not in there for a long time."
What's next: Plans are afoot to aggressively pursue scripted TV projects with brand integration. "The TV business is fundamentally changing. It's almost like there are no rules."
Stock-in-trade: "We're innovators—'Simple Life' is the first reality-sitcom. We have a strong commitment to storytelling and an almost proprietary approach to casting, which is emulated."