Kevin Beggs: Television visionary

Porter ‘89, politics/theater arts

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As chairman of the Lionsgate Television Group, Kevin Beggs places a high premium on creativity, risk, and, in his own words, “going where others won’t.”

Beggs oversees the entire TV portfolio at Lionsgate, one of the largest independent television businesses in the world. Since joining Lionsgate in 1998, Beggs has guided the Television Group’s growth into a leading supplier of content for streaming, cable, and broadcast networks.

Lionsgate’s roster of nearly 90 shows on more than 40 networks includes ground-breaking series such as Orange is the New Black and Dear White People (Netflix), Casual (Hulu), Nashville (CMT/Hulu), the syndication success The Wendy Williams Show, and the upcoming Step Up (You Tube Red), The Rook (Starz), and The Kingkiller Chronicle (Showtime).

Beggs has also been responsible for Lionsgate’s iconic, multiple Emmy Award winner Mad Men, eight seasons of Showtime’s hit comedy Weeds, seven seasons of Showtime’s acclaimed Nurse Jackie, and six seasons of USA’s Dead Zone.

“We have had great success with projects that other people would not do,” Beggs said. “I would not want to be known as the company that passed on something like Mad Men and Weeds.”

Beggs has received Operation Smile’s John Connor Humanitarian Award, the Help Group’s Teddy Bear Humanitarian Award, and the Broadcasting & Cable 2014 Innovation Award. Last October, he was inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame.

Throughout his rise, Beggs has maintained strong connections to his alma mater. “The term ‘critical thinking’ is thrown around loosely, but UC Santa Cruz really pushes that,” he said.

While theater arts was a “creative immersion,” his politics classes “really threw out every assumption you ever had about any kind of topic. There was an almost aggressive kind of debunking. You don’t just turn that off when you leave college.”