Melissa Chusid is an accomplished casting director and talent executive with a keen eye for star power. With more than two decades of casting and booking expertise, she has been instrumental in securing A-list celebrity talent for shows including Spike TV’s hit series “Lip Sync Battle” and Kevin Hart’s “Cold As Balls.” With an eclectic rolodex, Chusid has developed relationships across sports, entertainment, digital and news formats. Chusid currently has her own company Hope Productions, and serves as a consultant for several high-profile companies on their casting and talent needs.
Prior to starting Hope Productions, Chusid was Director, Talent and Development for MSG Media, the newly launched Madison Square Garden Network initiative to expand programming beyond “all sports” to “sports and entertainment.” She was closely involved in recruiting music talent and coordinating all on-air events, as well as assisting in the development of MSG Network’s critically acclaimed entertainment programming, a first for the formerly all-sports network. She was also Director, Talent at College Sports Television (CSTV), the CBS-owned network focusing on college sports. Additional sports experience includes working with the National Football League as an owner liaison during Super Bowl XLVII as well as working with Bleacher Report’s B/Real, a social consciousness campaign by Bleacher Report that connects five inspirational sports heroes with some of the biggest names in sports.
Chusid began her career at Nickelodeon in 1996, where she spent nearly ten years in the talent department of the iconic kids network. During her tenure at Nickelodeon, she handled many high-profile projects, including a key role in the nationwide search for a new host of the groundbreaking series “Blue’s Clues.” In her role as Director, Talent, Chusid also worked on casting and talent relations for “Dora the Explorer,” “Go, Diego, Go!,” “The Backyardigans” and “Little Bill.”
Additional experience includes casting the feature films “August Rush” and “A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints,” which featured top celebrity talent including Robert Downey Jr., Chazz Palminteri, Shia LeBeouf and Robin Williams. Chusid has also worked with Michael Moore on Broadway booking A-list celebrities for his “The Terms of My Surrender” 14-week run.
With media’s landscape continuing to evolve, Chusid has her sights on developing production slates for her principal talent roster and fostering partnerships with distribution platforms. She has a proven track record of not only finding talent but shepherding career-defining success. Chusid’s dedication to innovative programming and exceptional talent placement speaks in all that she does, and she’s focused on remaining on the cutting edge of sports and entertainment as seen in her current role casting a late night sports comedy show for Quibi, executive produced by Film 45 and Denis Leary.
A lifelong resident of New York City, Chusid has a degree in Government Studies from Skidmore College.