James Rowley has an extensive history of writing, directing and producing television, taking on his first producing and directing project at the age of 14 – admittedly, it was for his high school television studio, but everyone starts somewhere. James’s grown-up career began at Dick Clark Productions, where he was fortunate enough to literally work at Dick Clark’s side for seven years of Golden Globe Awards, American Music Awards, and The Academy of Country Music Awards. The shows were trial-by-fire; multi-million dollar, live network specials for NBC, CBS, and ABC. Not just experience, but truly an education in television. After earning his stripes in live tv (ask him about Carol Channing’s underpants), James was hired as the Production Supervisor of The X Show for FX. A daily, day-and-date talk show aimed at a young male audience.
During his time at The X Show, James co-created, and was the show-runner of The New Movie Show with Chris Gore also for FX, an irreverent, edgy movie review show. The show was named both a TV Guide and LA Weekly, “Pick of the Week.” James went on to co-create several successful game shows, including Beat the Geeks for Comedy Central, Cram for GSN, and Ultimate Film Fanatic for IFC. All three shows were highly-rated, and picked up for multiple seasons. James also developed and was the show-runner of Extreme Dodgeball, which had three successful seasons on GSN.
Some of James’s other show-running / Executive Producer credits include, Heidi Klum’s Seriously Funny Kids on Lifetime, Meteorite Men on Discovery Science, Queen Bees on Nickelodeon’s The N network, America’s Most Talented Kids on PAX, Immortalized on AMC, and the smash hit celeb-reality series, The Surreal Life.
James was one of the Executive Producers of MTV’s hit series Bully Beatdown, for Mark Burnett Productions, which ran for three seasons. Also with Mark Burnett Productions, James Executive Produced Trust Me, I’m a Game Show Host, a game show pilot for ABC.
In 2012, James formed Knucklehead Television with Eric Van Wagenen. The two first joined forces as Executive Producers of MTV’s Bully Beatdown. The first project under the Knucklehead banner is WWE Legends’ House, a comedy reality series featuring classic-era WWE superstars living in Palm Springs – after all, who doesn’t want to see Roddy Piper doing Water Aerobics? The Show debuted on the WWE network in April of 2014.
Recently, James has been the show-runner of Killer Karaoke, an outrageous singing competition, produced by Zodiak USA for TruTV; and he was just announced as the new Executive Producer of the nationally syndicated, iconic game show, Who Wants to be a Millionaire?. Hosted by Terry Crews, the new season premiers September 8th, 2014.