BY Stephen Nartey, 3:00pm July 17, 2023,

From Oscars to Super Bowl, this is how Jesse Collins became TV’s most sought-after producer

Jesse Collins via Linkedin

Jesse Collins is one of the most sought-after personalities in the showbiz industry. His contemporaries consider him a modern-day yardstick for the production of award shows following his success with various shows including a large-scale virtual show for the 2020 BET Awards. Many viewers didn’t know what to expect amid the pandemic, but the moment Amanda Seales began running commentaries while hosting the virtual show, the audience were held spellbound till the end of the show.

Video appearances from Michelle Obama and Beyoncé and awe-inspiring performances from rap and R&B’s biggest stars, Megan Thee Stallion, Lil Wayne and Alicia Keys capped the three-hour show, according to Billboard. Collins earned the respect of the industry by stepping out of the box of what pre-COVID award shows used to be; all performances at the 2020 BET Awards were almost like mini-movies that brought the audience into the world of each artist, Billboard added.

The takeaway for many was not only the high-quality pre-taped video performances on display but how the show was weaved around the Black experience which was amplified by the Black Lives Matter protest and civil rights, according to the Associated Press. It wasn’t only the audience that appreciated his magic touch but the queen of the screens as well, Oprah Winfrey, who recommended Collins for his first Oscars production as co-producer. The entertainment industry veteran recalled Winfrey sending him an email requesting his cell after she spoke with Bob Iger and Disney. The next moment, he was told he would be co-producing the 2021 Oscars with filmmakers Steven Soderbergh and Stacy Sher. On this project, he left his trademark of creating the show focusing on human stories.

Since that show, his success streak has been remarkable. At the time, he had been made the first Black executive producer of the Super Bowl halftime show, with one of his shows being adjudged epic when he put hip hop legends Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, 50 Cent among others on one stage. Though the executive producer had produced mega shows like the Academy, BET Awards, American Music Awards as well as the Grammys, the Super Bowl Halftime show was a different experience. He had to raise the bar even higher when Rihanna honored the invitation to perform at the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, according to Hollywood Reporter.

The phenomenal feel he brings to his work is what has endeared him to the production of big shows. But Collins did not begin from the top with the Grammys as he moved from a segment producer to consulting producer before becoming a producer. These positions enabled him to work with A-list artists such as Taylor Swift, Cardi B, BTS, Billie Eilish, Megan Thee Stallion and Harry Styles. He has also worked with Cardi B on both “Cardi Tries” on Facebook Watch and “Rhythm + Flow.” 

According to Collins, who is behind Jesse Collins Entertainment, the success of major live shows he has supervised is not by chance. He attributes the secret of his accomplishment to vision. It is that foresight that has made the Oscars, the BET, and Golden Globe Awards much talked about shows.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: July 17, 2023

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