by Natasha Wolff | July 5, 2018 1:30 pm
AfterBuzzTV cofounder Maria Menounos knew there was a hunger for TV series after-shows—just how big that appetite was, she never could have predicted. With billions of international eyes and ears devouring AfterBuzz’s 150-plus hours of weekly original content, Menounos and her producer husband, Keven Undergaro, have a hypercharged hit on their hands.
“We’ve got this great platform that allows young talent to flourish with a lot of supportive people involved… This was not necessarily the case when I was coming up,” says Menounos of AfterBuzz, which provides a post-show recap of some of primetime’s most popular series, like Billions and Dancing with the Stars. “It’s hard to get a break in this town. In this business, you can’t get a reel without a job… but how are you going to get a job without a reel? It’s exciting to give our young hosts this great opportunity.”
Menounos launched the digital broadcasting network in 2014 with Undergaro, who she married live on television during FOX’s New Year’s Eve 2018 broadcast. (Steve Harvey performed the ceremony.) On AfterBuzz, nearly 300 young hosts expertly dissect favorite shows and often interview cast members in the moments after an episode has aired. “We keep growing, and it’s such a community,” insists Menounos. “There are stars zooming in and out doing interviews and so much creativity in the air. It’s a safe haven for people with these dreams, right here in Hollywood.”
Launching the network and developing up-and-coming talent came on the heels of Menounos’ recovery from a brain tumor, an emotional ordeal she bravely shared with the world. Now, she insists upon taking life and career at a much more civilized pace than in her E! News heyday. That it’s also an opportunity to work side-by-side with her husband makes it all the sweeter. “It’s amazing, and Keven gets so much of the credit,” says Menounos. “So many people have great ideas but don’t know how to execute them, and he really does. Somehow, together, we manage to create 150 hours of programming every week, with retention rates of 67 percent. We are now on every red carpet, and we have all of these cool partnerships happening. The best part is, fans really get what they want.”
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