TV Producer Arthur Smith: How to Make Non-fiction TV

Arthur Smith is the Chairman of A. Smith & Co. Productions and is an industry veteran and a pioneer in nonfiction television, known for creating some of the longest-running unscripted series in history since founding A. Smith & Co. in 2000. 

Smith was inducted into the Realscreen Awards Hall of Fame in 2021, honored as Broadcasting & Cable’s “Producer of the Year” in 2020, nominated for several Emmy® Awards and received dozens of awards including NAACP Awards, Realscreen Awards, and Critics Choice Awards. Smith was the first-ever inductee to his alma mater’s “Ryerson Wall of Fame,” and was the founding sponsor of Ryerson in L.A. scholarship program to create hands-on learning opportunities for Ryerson students. 

With 200+ shows for 50+ networks under Smith’s leadership, A. Smith & Co.’s credits include Gordon Ramsay’s “Hell’s Kitchen” which forged the modern food competition reality genre in the U.S. and is FOX’s longest-running reality show, “American Ninja Warrior” which recently aired its 12th season on NBC and garnered its fourth Primetime Emmy® Award nomination for Outstanding Competition Program, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s “The Titan Games,” “Mental Samurai,” Pharrell Williams’ “Voices of Fire,” “Welcome to Plathville,” “American Ninja Warrior Junior,” “Unsung,” “American Gangster: Trap Queens,” “Ellen’s Next Great Designer” and “NFL Pro Bowl Skills Showdown.” Other past groundbreaking series include “Kitchen Nightmares,” “Trading Spaces,” “The Swan,” “Pros vs. Joes,” “I Survived a Japanese Game Show,” “UFC Countdown,” “The Dunk King” and “Paradise Hotel.”

Smith also serves as Chairman of Tinopolis Group U.S., the leading TV production and distribution group which acquired A. Smith & Co. in 2011. In this role, Smith also oversees the unscripted powerhouse Magical Elves, the Emmy Award®-winning producer of uplifting unscripted series such as “Top Chef,” “Nailed It!,” “Sugar Rush” and more. 

Prior to launching A. Smith & Co., Smith held the role of Executive Vice President of Programming, Production and News for FOX Sports. He launched the network into cable sports – supervising production, development, scheduling and acquisition of all national and regional programming. While at FOX, Smith launched 22 sports networks, serving as executive producer on all events and original programming.

Before FOX Sports, Smith served as Senior Vice President of MCA - Universal Television Group, where he rejuvenated MCA’s first-run division, developing a number of projects and acquisitions. Smith also spent four years as Senior Vice President of dick clark productions, producing a wide variety of award shows, special events, and non-fiction content. Smith was named the youngest Head of CBC Sports at the age of 28. He orchestrated the modernization of the network, creating sports content in an entertainment format filled with stylized graphics, driving music, high-profile features and technological innovations. His career began at CBC Network Sports, where he produced and directed major events around the world. This included overseeing three Olympic Games as an executive producer, for which he won numerous accolades, including two Gemini Awards.

As a youth, Smith acted in feature films, television commercials and comedies.

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