Dwight D. Smith

Dwight D. Smith

Co-President / Executive Producer

Dwight D. Smith was born and raised in Muncie, Indiana. He moved to Los Angeles the day after graduating from Ball State University and immediately began his career in the world of daytime dramas. Within a few short years, Smith had worked his way up the ranks to become an award-winning writer with credits including General HospitalDays of Our Lives and several sitcoms.

In 1998, Smith teamed up with producer Michael Agbabian, and the duo have been collaborating non-stop ever since, including projects such as Last Comic StandingWeakest Link, Hit Me Baby One More Time, Game Show Marathon and Phenomenon. In 2008, Agbabian and Smith formed Mission Control Media, specializing in premium alternative content. Since that time they have created and produced the Emmy and WGA Award-winning NBC game show, Hollywood Game Night, as well as the Critics’ Choice Award-winning special effects make-up competition, Face Off. Other Mission Control projects include the reboot of the iconic comedy series The Soup, gritty docuseries First and Last on Netflix; Apple’s first show, Planet of the Apps; Floored; FakeUp; Game Face; Celebrity Food Fight; Framework; How To Be a Grown Up; Hot Set, Marcel’s Quantum Kitchen and Late Night Liars among others.

Agbabian and Smith have extensive relationships throughout television having worked with a large number  of outlets including ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, Netflix, Apple, TNT, TBS truTV, Bravo, Lifetime, Discovery, History, MTV, VH1, truTV, Food Network, GSN, Oxygen, Freeform, CMT, Spike, USA, Syfy, Snapchat, Roku, Quibi and Twitch.

Michael Agbabian

Co-President / Executive Producer

Michael Agbabian is Co-President and Co-Founder of Mission Control Media, consistently named by RealScreen as one of the top non-scripted production companies in the world. Mission Control has amassed an impressive array of credits spanning network, cable and streaming outlets while producing a robust slate of premium content each year.

Agbabian is the Executive Producer and Co-creator of NBC’s Hollywood Game Night hosted by Jane Lynch. The star-studded game show has earned multiple Emmys and WGA awards among others.  Agbabian also serves as Executive Producer and Co-creator of Syfy’s critically-acclaimed and award-winning special FX make-up competition, Face Off.

Other Mission Control projects include the reboot of the iconic comedy series The Soup, First and Last for Netflix, Apple’s first show, Planet of the Apps; Celebrity Food Fight hosted by Andy Richter for Food Network and Tracks, a music game show with Christina Aguilera. Additional projects include Floored (Roku/Quibi), Pop5 (Quibi), New Year’s Eve Game Night (NBC), Framework (Spike); How To Be a Grown Up (truTV), Hair Jacked (truTV), Marcel’s Quantum Kitchen (Syfy), Hot Set (Syfy), WCG Ultimate Gamer (SYFY) and Late Night Liars (GSN).

Along with producing partner, Dwight D Smith, Agbabian has also produced such projects as Last Comic Standing, Game Show Marathon, Weakest Link, Phenomenon, I’ve Got a Secret and Hit Me Baby One More Time.

Agbabian is a Los Angeles native having attended the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. He is of Armenian descent and is active in Armenian-related charities and causes.

Michael Agbabian
Michael Agbabian

Michael Agbabian

Co-President / Executive Producer

Michael Agbabian is Co-President and Co-Founder of Mission Control Media, consistently named by RealScreen as one of the top non-script production companies in the world.  Mission Control has amassed an impressive array of credits spanning network, cable and streaming outlets while producing a robust slate of premium content each year.

Agbabian is the Executive Producer and Co-creator of NBC’s Hollywood Game Night hosted by Jane Lynch.  The star-studded game show has earned multiple Emmys and WGA awards among others.  Agbabian also serves as Executive Producer and Co-creator of Syfy’s critically-acclaimed and award-winning special FX make-up competition, Face Off.

Other Mission Control projects include the reboot of the iconic comedy series The Soup, First and Last for Netflix, Apple’s first show, Planet of the Apps; Celebrity Food Fight hosted by Andy Richter for Food Network and Tracks, a music game show with Christina Aguilera for Spike.  Additional projects include Floored (Quibi), Pop5 (Quibi), New Year’s Eve Game Night (NBC), Framework (Spike); How to be a Grown-Up (truTV), Hair Jacked (truTV), Marcel’s Quantum Kitchen (Syfy), Hot Set (Syfy), WCG Ultimate Gamer (SYFY) and Late Night Liars (GSN).

Along with producing partner, Dwight D Smith, Agbabian, has also produced such projects as Last Comic Standing, Game Show Marathon, Weakest Link, Phenomenon, I’ve Got a Secret and Hit Me Baby One More Time.

Agbabian is a Los Angeles native having attended the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts.  He is of Armenian descent and is active in Armenian-related charities and causes.

Nicholas Oakley

Nicholas Oakley

Senior Vice President, Development

Nicholas Oakley has been producing and developing non-scripted programming for over 15 years, on both sides of the pond (five years in the UK, ten years in the US), and on both sides of the table (as both a seller and as a network buyer).

Oakley spent the first few years of his career in London, mainly at the BBC, in junior production roles. He cut his teeth as a researcher on daily late night comedy shows and daytime talk shows, and cast contestants on major prime time game shows like Weakest Link.

In 2003, Oakley was hired by the production arm of ITV, the UK’s biggest commercial broadcaster, to create formats of his own. There, he helped develop BAFTA-winning variety shows, game shows and competition series. In 2005, the company relocated Oakley to their Los Angeles office to help launch US versions of reality shows like Hell’s Kitchen, Nanny 911 and Celebrity Fit Club.

After 5 years at ITV, Oakley was hired by MTV in Los Angeles as VP of Development where he oversaw multiple pilots as well as current series such as A Double Shot At Love and The Girls of Hedsor Hall.

Oakley left MTV to run the US office of the UK prodco Mentorn where he was instrumental in setting up projects at a wide range of networks including Food Network, Discovery, Style, CMT and MTV International.

Oakley returned to the network side of the business again in 2014 to run West Coast Development for the HLN network at CNN. There, he helped bring in the network’s first slate of original non-news series, overseeing the development of docuseries, prank shows, travel formats and game shows, managing each all the way from pilot through the resulting series. During his tenure there, HLN became the second fastest growing network in cable.

Oakley is excited to have joined Mission Control Media and be reunited with Dwight D. Smith and Michael Agbabian, who he had the pleasure of working with previously at ITV Studios.

Brent Burnette

Vice President, Current and Development

Brent Burnette was born in Kansas and raised in Western Massachusetts. He graduated from Syracuse University and then began his career in New York City on the original primetime version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.

After working for several years in the game show genre, Burnette moved over to reality television and began accumulating credits on a number of different shows including Undercover Boss, Wife Swap and What Not To Wear.

In 2005, Burnette began his career in development when he helped launch and serve as Director of Programming for the New York Television Festival (NYTVF); the first independent television festival. Later, Burnette was VP of Current Series and Development for Magilla Entertainment and then SVP of Development for Zodiak NY.

In 2014, Burnette moved to Los Angeles and spent the next two years developing comedy projects as Head of Development for Wanda Sykes’ production company, Push It Productions.

Over his 15 plus year career in entertainment, Burnette has been lucky enough to work in a variety of genres and accumulated credits with a number of different networks including ABC, CBS, Discovery, ESPN, History, MTV, TLC, and truTV.

He joins Mission Control Media after previously working with Michael and Dwight on the project, How To Be A Grown Up.

Brent Burnette
Brent Burnette

Brent Burnette

Vice President, Current and Development

Brent Burnette was born in Kansas and raised in Western Massachusetts. He graduated from Syracuse University and then began his career in New York City on the original primetime version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.

After working for several years in the game show genre, Burnette moved over to reality television and began accumulating credits on a number of different shows including Undercover Boss, Wife Swap, and What Not To Wear.

In 2005, Burnette began his career in development when he helped launch and serve as Director of Programming for the New York Television Festival (NYTVF); the first independent television festival. Later on, Burnette was VP of Current Series and Development for Magilla Entertainment and then SVP of Development for Zodiak NY.

In 2014, Burnette moved to Los Angeles and spent the next two years developing comedy projects as Head of Development for Wanda Sykes’ production company, Push It Productions.

Over his 15 plus year career in entertainment, Burnette has been lucky enough to work in a variety of genres and accumulated credits with a number of different networks including ABC, CBS, Discovery, ESPN, History, MTV, TLC, and truTV.

He joins Mission Control Media after previously working with Michael and Dwight on the project, How To Be A Grown Up.

Rachel Sams

Rachel Sams

Manager, Development

Rachel Sams was born in California, raised in Massachusetts and graduated from Boston University with a degree in film and television. After graduating, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. Sams got her start in the mailroom at WME, which lead to an assistant position in Business Affairs for their unscripted team. She quickly realized that the unscripted TV world – especially development – was the perfect career path for her. Sams loves the fast pace, creativity, and the interesting people she gets to meet with each project.

After leaving WME in 2012, Sams experienced both the selling and buying side, working as a development assistant at Discovery Studios and then Spike. In 2015 she joined Mark Burnett’s development team at United Artists Media Group, which went on to become part of MGM when Burnett was named President of MGM Television in 2016. Sams worked as part of MGM’s unscripted team as coordinator, then manager.

Now Rachel is excited to join Mission Control Media, after previously working with owners Michael and Dwight during the production of Framework for Spike in 2014.

Ryan Williams

Executive Assistant

Ryan Williams is a Los Angeles native and a recent USC graduate. While at USC, Williams executive produced two seasons of USC Comedy Live, an SNL-type sketch show that brings together writers, actors, and directors with top USC cinema faculty for a semester long intensive. Shortly after that, Williams and her producing partners on Comedy Live, created and produced a variety show that aired on USC’s TV network. The show provided a space for talented USC students to showcase their skills.

Outside of USC, Williams interned with the development team at Amazon Studios where she worked closely with their staff to review potential scripts and develop new animated kids shows. She was also an assistant to Jane Lynch on season 6 of Hollywood Game Night.

Williams is excited to be a part of the Mission Control Media team. While assisting the team, Williams has been involved in all aspects of the company – from development to production to office management. While working alongside Michael and Dwight, Williams continues to learn and take on more responsibility at the company.

Ryan Williams
Ryan Williams

Ryan Williams

Executive Assistant

Ryan Williams is a Los Angeles native and a recent USC graduate. While at USC, Williams executive produced two seasons of USC Comedy Live, an SNL-type sketch show that brings together writers, actors, and directors with top USC cinema faculty for a semester long intensive. Shortly after that, Williams and her producing partners on Comedy Live, created and produced a variety show that aired on USC’s TV network. The show provided a space for talented USC students to showcase their skills.

Outside of USC, Williams interned with the development team at Amazon Studios where she worked closely with their staff to review potential scripts and develop new animated kids shows. She was also an assistant to Jane Lynch on season 6 of Hollywood Game Night.

Williams is excited to be a part of the Mission Control Media team. While assisting the team, Williams has been involved in all aspects of the company – from development to production to office management. While working alongside Michael and Dwight, Williams continues to learn and take on more responsibility at the company.