The Bulwark
Bulwark Goes to Hollywood
Just Don't Call it 'Reality' TV
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Just Don't Call it 'Reality' TV

Arthur Smith, the man behind 'Hell's Kitchen' and 'American Ninja Warrior,' on his new book 'Reach'
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Arthur Smith, left, on the set of Hell’s Kitchen with a British chef. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

On this week’s show, I’m joined by Arthur Smith, chairman of A. Smith and Co. Productions, the company behind long-running hits like Hell’s Kitchen and American Ninja Warrior. In addition to explaining why he shies away from the label “reality TV,” he’s here to talk about his career and his fascinating new book Reach: Hard Lessons and Learned Truths from a Lifetime in Television. Arthur has one of the most interesting careers of anyone I’ve ever spoken to: he got his start at the CBC, working his way up to the head of sports, before moving to Dick Clark’s production company in the States, then getting in on the ground floor at Fox Sports, and then founding A. Smith and Co. where he’s produced shows for the major networks, cable companies, and streamers alike. He’s seen every facet of the business over the last 40-some years and has great insights into how things have changed—and how they’ve stayed the same. If you learned something from this episode and think others would enjoy it, please share it with a friend!

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The Bulwark
Bulwark Goes to Hollywood
Sonny Bunch on movies, technology, and understanding the next Hollywood